2016: Hack the Waste Stream!


What is Climathon?

Climathon is a 24-hour global competition dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges of climate change. Hosted simultaneously in doxens of cities worldwide, Climathon is sponsored by Climate-KIC, an initiative of the European Union.

The George Washington University, in conjunction with the Government of the District of Columbia, hosted the second annual DC Climathon on October 28-29, 2016. This year's theme was "Hack the Waste Stream," where teams were challenege to imagine viable business models that reduce the footprint of durable goods in DC's waste stream. At the culmination of the overnight event, twenty participants in six teams presented innovative projects that responded to the challenge theme; of these, four teams were selected by the judging panel to advance to the final round of the competition. 

College Recycle, finalist

American college students toss a large amount of usable goods at the end of each academic year, a problem that generates unnecessary waste and diverts usable goods from reuse. College Recycle aims to collect items from colleges and universities each spring and resell items to new and returning students in the fall.


Have you ever struggled to know exactly how to recycle a food container? eCode is a proprietary QR code system that consumers can scan to find municipal or commercial recycling facilities that will accept the container.

Journeyture, winner

Furniture and textiles make up a large portion of the durable goods waste in the District of Columbia, a jurisdiction with a large population of young, transient professionals. Journeyture seeks to recycle furniture materials to create a modular system of sofas, chairs, and bookshelves that can be easily disassembled for transport.

Plot Twist

This team of engineers suggested an innovative way to use building materials from demolished projects or those in excess from new construction to provide landscape protection for tree-lined streets and urban gardens. This idea responds directly to the weighty intake of building materials by the DC Department of Public Works.

Silent Recyclers, finalist

Addressing the bulk and weight of appliances as well as their usefulness, the Silent Recyclers aim to repair items for further use by low-income District residents. They simultaneously address the need to provide jobs in the underserved deaf community with which this all-deaf team has a personal connection.

W!T, finalist

Recognizing the high textile content of the District’s waste stream, W!T targets DC apartment buildings to collect unwanted clothes and other fabrics and transforms these materials into fashion. The team envisions a two-tiered line of clothing to make itself accessible and attractive to the diversity of the District’s residents.


On December 9, 2016, finalist teams competed with refined business pitches, and the winner of the 2016 DC Climathon was chosen: Journeyture is a company that seeks to transform end-of-life sofas, tables, and bookshelves into modular furniture for mobile urbanites.