Green GrubBox


Seattle, WA

Want to expand to other cities?


Dishwashing Included?


Green GrubBox is a reusable system that utilizes QR/RFID codes to manage, track and redistribute food containers. They offer a subscription service metro model as well as a model for airports, college and business campuses.

About Green GrubBox

Green GrubBox offers several reusable system models. For restaurant use, Green GrubBox provides collection, dishwashing and distribution of their containers, and restaurants pay a small fee for each container used. Users pay an annual membership fee of $12 for unlimited use of their mobile app. They currently have a washing facility in Seattle and hope to expand into Oregon and Northern California with their washing and non washing models.

In their campus model, campuses can choose to wash containers themselves or have Green GrubBox do so for them. Green GrubBox charges $8 for the initial purchase of each container and an annual membership subscription fee of $8 to students or staff.  This fee can be subsidized by the college or business or charged directly to users. Green GrubBox charges a one time purchase fee of approximately $6,000 to $8,000 for each auto drop station installed. If we manage and wash containers an additional fee of anywhere from $0.29 to $0.43 is charged for each container collected, washed and returned to campus. The campus model, without dishwashing, can be shipped to colleges and businesses anywhere in the world.  Our AutoDrop Smart collection system is an IOT device that is solar powered and uses RFID technology that automatically guides the user through the check in process.

The Container

Green GrubBox has reusable soup containers, clamshells and 20 oz tumblers. Soup containers and clamshells are made of #5 plastic polypropylene and can be re-used up to 1,000 times, but need only 15 uses to have an environmental benefit. Tumblers are acrylic with a reusable lid and straw (personal straw for a small fee) but are used for cold drinks only.  Green GrubBox feels that their competitive advantage is that their system can accommodate most any type of cup/flatware/dishware and they plan to continually add different containers to offer variety for their customers. 

Green GrubBox return stations (auto and non-automated) are made out of galvanized stainless steel. They run on solar power and are connected to the Green GrubBox cloud based backend system so that Green Grubbox knows how many have been returned to each station.

Containers can be returned to participating locations or to automated return stations connected to the Green GrubBox cloud based backend system and can be placed almost anywhere on a business campus.  These return stations can hold up to 395 clamshells and 50 cups/soup cups and are sensibly designed for quick, efficient unloading. Return stations also have a 50 Gallon capacity, are solar/battery powered, fullness sensing, have onboard GPS, and are cellular and/or wifi enabled.  The Green GrubBox system features an admin app which gives real time fullness and diagnostic information of each unit over a targeted area. Some units come with an interactive display to guide users through the check in process.

How it Works

Customers check out a Green GrubBox reusable at a participating restaurant using the Green GrubBox app. When checking out their reusable, customers scan the QR or RFID code on each reusable using their phone, allowing Green GrubBox to have real time statistics on how many containers are in use. After the container is scanned it provides an alert and date stamp time notification along with a list of the nearest drop stations located to that user. After customers finish their meal, they can use the Green GrubBox mobile app to locate the nearest Auto DropStation or consult the website. The Auto DropStation interactive screen guides the user through the return process and uses our RFID technology. 

Users are sent reminders on their phone to return their reusable if it is not checked back in within 24 hours.  Users can keep the container for up to two weeks but after that may have to pay a replacement fee if they do not let Green GrubBox know what the status is.  Green GrubBox works with customers in this process and haven’t yet charged any replacement fees.

For systems where dishwashing is provided, GreenGrub Box picks up dirty containers from restaurants and capture bins on a regular pick up schedule using an e-bike/bike trailer combo for area location pickups which are then transferred to a cargo van.  Only environmentally friendly detergents are used in dishwashing, and containers are air dried before being reused. Green GrubBox is also exploring the use of rain capture and renewable energy at their washing facilities. 

When delivering clean containers to participating sites, handlers wear clean latex gloves, and clean and dirty bins do not come in contact with one another.

Green Grubbox also has a system for auto check out of containers for campus kiosks.

Staff training

Green Grubbox provides step by step instructions to participating locations that can be mounted on the wall. They also do outreach to restaurants and launch sites so users and vendors can get a feel for how the system works. They do full project management for the initial phase and their customer success team is always available for follow up support during and after roll out.

Data collection/tracking

All container inventory is tracked using the QR/RFID codes. Green Grubbox knows where containers are at all times and can verify how many times each container has been used.  Because of this they are able to provide valuable waste reduction/removal and cost savings data as well as other interesting and useful metrics on user behavior with their system. Their campus models offer a tech support contract which can provide on demand waste statistics for campuses and airports.

Loss rate

Less than 1% loss rate.

Pilots/current implementation

The Green GrubBox system is available in downtown Seattle, and they have done several zero waste events for the City of Seattle and corporate firms such as REI, using up to 1,000 clamshells per event.

Green GrubBox has piloted their program in the Seattle Municipal tower and is currently participating in the SAN innovation lab at the San Diego airport, where they will pilot their latest RFID automated return drop technology in mid-June 2020. The conclusion of this program will result in a direct pitch to the San Diego airport authority to compete for a contract with SAN.  They will also be piloting their metro model this summer with PPC Community Markets in the Seattle area and expanding their downtown restaurant presence.


Ted Wallis

Founder and CEO

Hannah Johnson