Frequently Asked Questions

What Services/Stores does Garbi Connect With?

Delivery: Currently, Garbi connects to Amazon and Instacart.  We're building support for other services such as Shipt, Google Express, Good Eggs, Ugly Produce, Peapod, and others

Pick-Up: Garbi Allows for In-Store Pickup at Walmart, Target, Safeway, Whole Foods, and Costco (pending that pickup is available at your local store)

In-Store: Most major retailers (At least those with an online presence)

Looking for a specific service or store? Drop us a note and we can let you know the current status!

Does Garbi Order Items Immediately?  Do I have to scan everything I throw away?

Nope, that would be annoying!  Pressing the button only adds the item to your shopping list. From there, you can move items to your cart by swiping on them.

And if you don't want to scan something, just throw it away and Garbi works like a regular trash can.  What's the Mitch Hedberg joke, "Escalators can never break, they just become stairs?"

What are Garbi's Shipping, Return, and Warranty Policies? 

Shipping: Typically Garbi ships within 5-7 business days. We currently only ship to the USA (International is coming soon, sign up now to get onto our waitlist!)

Warranty & Return Policy:
We want you to love your Garbi, and if you DON'T, we're happy to take it back, no questions asked! Current users can contact support via their mobile app.

Here are some more specifics about our policies:

Within 90 Days: We'll take it back for a 100% refund, and even pay for shipping if you fill out our Improvement Survey!

After 90 days: You're 100% covered for anything electrical & most mechanical issues. Unfortunately, we don't cover lost or stolen units (but if lost, we would be interested in hearing exactly *how* you lost a kitchen trash can!)

After 5 Years: We are obviously big into recycling, so we offer a discounted price on new units in exchange for returning your old units. Whenever possible, we refurbish units to prevent them from ending up in landfills, so if your Garbi breaks after 5 years, you can return it to us for a discounted price.


Does Garbi have a Subscription Fee?

Nope!  And we're the same price as most traditional luxury trash cans.  😇

The truth is, we make money from the retailers when you order groceries through us, which is why we're priced so competitively.  But if you don't order groceries, that's fine too, we just want Garbi to be useful!


How Does Garbi Work?

Magic! ;)

Just kidding, it's the same computer vision technology they're using in self-driving cars (so, pretty close to magic!). 

When you hold up the item, Garbi's camera takes a picture of the item, crops out the background, and looks for text, logos, colors, shape, etc. It then analyzes this against all the other items it has seen, and even searches the internet for similar images to compare it to.

Once the item has been identified, it searches online retailers for prices, and sustainability databases to determine whether or not the product is recycleable. All of this happens in about 3 seconds, after which Garbi displays the recycleability via the LEDs, and uploads the image to your mobile app.  


How long does it take to scan things?

About 3 seconds.  We recognize that this is a major concern, and we plan to get the software to the point where it happens in real time.


How Well Does Garbi Recognize Items?

Better every day! Garbi uses Computer Vision, the same technology as self driving cars (unlike self-driving cars, if Garbi messes up nobody gets hurt 😇).  With this technology, every scanned item adds to it's database which increases it's accuracy, so scan away!

Currently Garbi accurately recognizes ~75% of items in 3 seconds or less, but for items it doesn't recognize, it takes a picture and uploads it to the app, so you remember it when it comes time to checkout.

If you want to see how Garbi views & recognizes items, check out this video!


Do I need Barcodes? What Items Can't I scan? 

Garbi does not require barcodes, which means it works on everything from socks to sponges to apple cores. 

Garbi doesn't work well on large items that wouldn't fit inside your kitchen trash can anyway, such as lumber, or items with high variety, such as clothing. 

What about Items I don't throw in my Trash/Recycling?

Most things you reorder fit in your trash/recycling, but for items you don't already have to throw away (such as tomatoes) you can add manually via search, just like with amazon or Instacart. Future Updates will include integration with voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home.

What about Items I *Can't* run out of, like Milk or Diapers?

Someday Garbi will be smart enough to track your inventory and prompt you before you run out of critical items.  In the meantime, when you DO run out of milk, you can hit the store armed with an up-to-date list of everything you need to purchase, so you don't experience that awful moment of "I forgot to grab X" (which always seems to occur 10 seconds after you get home).


What bags work with Garbi's bins?

This is definitely a personal matter, so use your Garbi as you see fit! But if you're looking for our personal recommendations:

For improved recycling, we recommend not using a bag.  If you're worried that the bin will get dirty, you most likely should not be recycling that particular item (or rinsing it first). 

For trash, we recommend these compostable bags which come in all the right sizes for your bin and are slightly better for the environment, but any standard kitchen trash bag in the 10-14gal range will fit nicely.  

What do the different color lights mean?

Probably our most frequent question!  Each Garbi comes with a cheat sheet magnet, but most users report that they figure it out within the first 2 weeks.

  • White: Scanning
  • Purple: Item Uploaded to App
  • Red: Error, please check the app
  • Yellow: Unknown recycleability
  • Blue: Item is recycleable
  • Pink: Item is not recycleable
  • Green: Item is compostable (can be turned off in the app for regions w/o composting)

Should I be concerned about Privacy?

Heck yes! Privacy is super important, especially in our increasingly connected lives.

Oh, you meant about Garbi? Well, still yes, but we do everything we can to protect your privacy. Garbi doesn't have a microphone, and the camera can only see what's directly in front of it, and only when you've pressed the button on the lid. All your items are securely hashed (whatever that means) separately from your profile, so that even if our database is compromised the hackers can't associate the images with you personally.

How Well Does the Recycling Feature Work?

Better every day! Our dream is to make it work perfectly, but it's super complicated as every county has different recycling abilities, and there's no centralized database for us to pull from.  But with each item you scan, Garbi's software algorithm's get more accurate, so one day we'll get there!