A2A Challenge: Glass Collection Noise Reduction

$35,000 USD

Challenge overview


Utilizing recycled glass saves up to 30% of the energy and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to new glass production. The collection of glass containers, unfortunately, generates a great deal of noise that is particularly annoying in residential areas of cities. AMSA, a part of the A2A Group, and the Seeker for this Challenge, is responsible for waste collection and treatment for the city of Milan, Italy and fourteen surrounding municipalities and is seeking innovative solutions to reduce the noise generated during its glass collection operations.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and experimental proof-of-concept data if available. The Seeker will test promising solutions for their ability to meet the requirements of the Challenge.



The process of emptying glass containers from recycling bins into waste trucks generates noise that is particularly annoying when happening in residential areas of cities. Adding to the annoyance is that the waste collection service is operated early in the morning to minimize its impact on traffic. In fact AMSA’s trucks shall be out from the city center by 8 a.m. For this reason, AMSA is looking for solutions that can contribute directly to the reduction of the noise emitted by the impact of glass bottles and jars during the process of unloading the containers in the waste truck. Solutions may include innovative design proposals, new materials or systems for collecting glass, or add-ons to be used alongside the current equipment.  With this proposal, AMSA is looking for innovative solutions that will sensibly reduce the noise related to the glass waste collection service in urban areas for the benefit of the residents. Moreover the solution shall be sustainable from an economic and environmental stand point.

The submission to the Challenge should include the following:

  1. The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Technical Requirements presented in the Detailed Description of the Challenge. This description should be accompanied by a well-articulated rationale supported by literature/patent precedents.
  2. Experimental proof-of-concept data obtained as outlined in the Detailed Description of the Challenge.  

The Challenge award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 07-Sep-2021.
Late submissions will not be considered.



Employees of A2A Group and their families are not eligible to receive awards for this Challenge.



The A2A Group is the largest Italian multi utility, at the forefront of territorial services and technological solutions for ten years, with one hundred years of history and experience. We design smart and sustainable cities, with respect for the people who live there, we are protagonists of energy transition and we implement the principle of the circular economy in all of our activities. With a far-reaching strategic plan, we manage the generation, sale and distribution of electricity and gas, district heating, waste collection and recovery, e-mobility, public lighting and the integrated water services.

We manage the integrated waste cycle, street cleaning and other essential services for the hygiene and cleanliness of cities, in Milan, Brescia and several Municipalities of Northern Italy. Our fleet of methane vehicles is one of the largest in Europe. Thanks to the service of AMSA, which has been part of the A2A Group since 2008, Milan is one of the leading European cities with more than 65% of waste correctly sorted and the highest collection rate of organic waste a global level.


What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

An InnoCentive RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to an InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also, the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, please see the Challenge Specific Agreement.

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