Are you a student passionate about the circular economy and want to contribute to a circular society? The fourth edition of the National Hackathon CE will take place from 5 to 9 February 2024!


A look back at the National Hackathon Circular Economy 2023

Eco-lution wins National Hackathon Circular Economy 2023

Student teams from across the country work together to create waste-free stations

From Monday, Jan. 30, to Thursday, Feb. 2, 140 students from different education levels gathered at various locations in the Netherlands to accelerate the circular economy. This year, the 20 student teams worked on a challenge posed by NS and ProRail: to accelerate the path towards waste-free stations by 2040. Eco-lution won with their integrated solution, consisting of smart bin ‘Bonnie the bin’ that separates waste on its own, and recommendations such as universal packaging and waste tracking.

During this third edition of the National Hackathon Circular Economy, students worked on the challenge they received from NS and ProRail about circular interventions for reducing and/or separate collection of public waste at stations. Different ways to separate waste, as well as awareness and behavioral change were the issues the students had to address. Because the teams consisted of a variety of disciplines, from accounting to communications, each team had an unique perspective and approach to tackling this issue.

The five best teams pitched their ideas to an expert jury on Friday, Feb. 3, during the live national finals in Utrecht. The jury had to pay particular attention to innovation, impact, multi-value creation and design. There, team Eco-lution from Rotterdam Hogeschool was chosen as the winner. "We saw that all the participating teams had done their research very well, and their solutions were quite diverse: from creating more awareness to engaging young people. But Eco-lution came up with an integrated solution that has very practical aspects, such as smart trash can Bonnie the Bin, but also consists of recommendations for producers that can result in a lot of impact in the long run!" said the jury.

We look back on a very successful National Hackathon and we look forward to the further implementation of this idea, since ProRail and NS have announced that they would like to develop the idea further with the team of students.

Circular leadership

The National Hackathon CE is part of the four-month National Talent Program Leadership for the Circular Transition, organized by a consortium of universities and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Over four months, some 40 students from seven universities and colleges attend workshops & sessions to be trained to become leaders of the future and contribute to the transition to a circular society. The Hackathon is open not only to the students following this talent program, but to all students who fancy a cool challenge and want to contribute to a circular economy.

Want to know more? You can mail

CURIOUS? Watch this short video on the National Hackathon 2023! :)

Or take a look at the First Edition 2021 (only Dutch)