Project Overview

In an era of cabin fever and complexity, Petal's value proposition is simple. Quickly and cost-effectively freeze potentially hazardous and noxious waste so it doesn’t spread germs and stink up your environment.

Petal is the world’s first zero-odor, germ-freezing waste bin and the only disposal device on the market that naturally stops rot, eliminates stink, and halts the spread of germs.

Petal's brilliance lies in its conceptual simplicity and design elegance: a sleek, responsibly-sourced, scarily-efficient, and technically-unique appliance that freezes organic waste solid to 0°F in under 35 minutes.

Uniquely designed to fit into any room of your home, Petal's patent-pending freezing technology makes it effortless for consumers to live in clean and healthy environments.

Zero degrees. Zero odor.


Petal, LLC


Scott Henderson (Industrial Design)
Brian Petz (Engineering)
Primoz Cresnik (Engineering)

Project Brief

Petal is a familiar surprise.

From the outside, Petal is a beautifully-designed, pedal-operated waste bin. Its unique design aesthetic communicates a democratic freshness – an accessible, friendly and welcoming form that melds seamlessly within any home environment. Its outward three-dimensional statement confidently expresses its new and unique technology with lightness and optimism, evoking feelings of health and happiness versus the trashcan’s necessary evil.

On the inside, where it counts the most, Petal combines proven, high-efficiency refrigeration technology, advanced vacuum-panel thermal insulation, and an innovative design architecture to perform as a hybrid freezer/waste bin – naturally stopping odors and putting germs on ice, in a convenient, easy-to-use form factor.

Its frigid temperature ensures that nothing leaks, and nothing sticks to the reusable plastic pail, eliminating the need for landfill-clogging, single-use plastic liners.

Designed with the user in mind, Petal changes nothing about people’s existing habits. There is no learning curve.

Using Petal is a familiar experience with a far superior--almost delightful--outcome. Simply plug Petal into a standard household outlet, put a bag in (if you so desire) and it is ready for use.

Project Innovation/Need

Throughout human history, the disposal of waste has looked pretty much the same. Centuries ago, we tossed our garbage in the street, creating dangerous and unsanitary conditions that encouraged the spread of sickness and stink throughout our communities. In 1875, we began storing our waste indoors.

Almost nothing has changed since.

Whether food scraps in the kitchen, dirty diapers in the nursery, pet waste, or incontinence products, existing disposal solutions allow foul waste to sit, rot, and fester at room temperature for days on end, creating dangerous and unsanitary conditions that pollute our homes with horrible smells, mold, bacteria, and unwanted pests.

We’ve tried filters, chemical air fresheners, and environmentally devastating single-use (and sometimes proprietary) plastic liners. But, at their core, waste bins are just open containers ripe with rot, stench, and germs. And we’ve resigned to accept it.

Until now.

Design Challenge

Said simply, Petal represents innovation in its purest sense. It is the kind of transformational idea, product, and technology that will look like common sense in hindsight. The true definition of ‘game-changing’.

Unlike open containers that allow organic waste to rot, stink, and fester with germs, Petal is a revolutionary appliance that freezes waste to 0 °F in less than 35 minutes. It does what no other disposal device can: stops rot, stink and the spread of germs before they start.

Because Petal is a unique innovation, its design challenge began at its conception. Without blueprints or prior versions to build from, Petal took inspiration from aerospace engineering—the discipline used to create rocket ships, fighter jets and other global game-changers.

Petal has the smallest surface-to-volume ratio of any consumer freezer appliance ever built. It combines vacuum insulated panels with vapor-compression refrigeration technology and an innovative design architecture to perform at a shocking level of efficiency (less than $1 per month, which is less than what we spend to wash one load of laundry.


Petal is durably built to last for a decade or more using responsibly-sourced and recycled materials wherever possible.

To reduce its carbon footprint, Petal is being manufactured in North America. Rather than producing and shipping Petal overseas via freighters, we will capitalize on Fort Worth’s centralized location to take advantage of North America’s best transport systems. This minimizes our carbon footprint while employing people locally.

In addition, Petal stops germs naturally without the use of chemicals like bleach. These harsh products kill germs, but in the process, they create bacterial resistance that in turn creates “super germs” (whose effects we’re watching now with covid-19). Rather than aggravating the proliferation of antibiotic resistant “super bugs”, Petal doesn’t kill germs—it stops their spread by freezing and thus paralyzing them. This is accomplished using less than $1 per month of electricity. Additionally, Petal does not use toxic Freon as its refrigerant, but instead employs the more environmentally friendly 410A.

Petal can also be used without a plastic liner. Waste bins currently require plastic liners (sometimes proprietary) to prevent spillage and “garbage juice,” but frozen waste can’t leak. As a result, our product hopes to reduce humanity’s consumption of single use plastic bags.

Finally, Petal reduces barriers to widespread participation in public composting programs. It eliminates people’s oft-cited reasons for opposing the process (e.g. rot, stink, fruit flies, pet tampering, garbage juice).

The potential impact of widespread public composting far outweighs the environmental cost of Petal’s negligible energy usage.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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