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Four-Legged Friends Join Local Sustainable Innovators: Trurobotics

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Many Nova Scotians and families around the world find joy in having a pet dog. Although canine products aren’t known for pioneering sustainable innovations, there is exciting green research happening right here in Truro! ADAPT Research Inc. is a group of young entrepreneurs who are working to create dog waste bags which are 100% compostable, which includes meeting all of the necessary requirements for the local Colchester Composting Facility. These students are dedicated to creating a unique compostable bag: one that will break down much faster and more efficiently than all other available bags labelled “compostable” or “biodegradable.”

For many dog owners, the use of two or more plastic waste bags per day is the norm. There are currently no dog waste bags on the market that break down in a way that is acceptable for local compost facilities in Truro. For a family that uses just two bags for their dog per day, that totals 730+ plastic bags every year, per dog. That’s a lot of plastic and organic waste going to the landfill!

The student inventors are part of a local Lego team, Trurobotics, that has eight team members actively working to see their product reach local markets. Their product has already earned the team a spot at the First Lego League Global Innovation Awards in Washington, DC! That means the team is one of the top 20 teams from 28,000 worldwide. They also received the Mobius Innovator of the Year Award in 2016 (See also: Trurobotics Facebook page). The team has been working with the Colchester Compost Facility since they learned that many “biodegradable” plastic bags were creating problems for such facilities. Currently, the Colchester Compost Facility does not accept any of these products because they get caught in machines and take months, or sometimes years, to fully decompose. The bags being developed by Trurobotics will be 100% compostable, made with a strong, flexible “plastic” recipe that they currently make in their home kitchens.

The inventors of Trurobotics are hoping to partner with a leader like the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus to help finalize, patent, and prepare their product for the marketplace.  

On September 24, 2017, the Trurobotics team had samples of two different prototypes available at the ElderDogs 2nd Annual Paws in the Park Dog Walk & Expo in Victoria Park. These samples were available for dog owners to test and then report back their results. Check out the test bags in our photos!

For more information, please contact ADAPT Research Inc. This innovation will provide a useful, more sustainable option for all dog owners. This is an amazing, sustainable, forward-thinking innovation by some inspiring students!


Author: Pamela Chandler, Northern NS Engagement Officer

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