Best from Waste Rube Goldberg Competition

Build a Rube Goldberg machine from household waste and recyclable materials!

March 7, 2021

You have six days to build a Rube Goldberg machine using household waste & recyclable materials. Please refrain from purchasing additional materials. You can participate individually or as a team of up to four members.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is an intentionally over-engineered machine designed to complete a simple task in an indirect or complex way. Confused? Watch this video of a winning submission.

In line with the “Best from Waste” theme, the final task of your machine will be to place a bottle into a trash bin. The final deliverable for the competition shall be a video, shot in one take, that showcases the entire machine in action.

The best three entries will receive $50, $35, and $25 gift cards, and there will be a raffle for an additional $15 gift card. You may submit your entry starting from March 1, 2021 until March 12, 2021. If you have any questions, please reach out to

To summarize, here are the rules and guidelines for the Rube-Goldberg Machine:

  • At the end, the machine should put a bottle into a trash bin.
  • The bottle should be of either 0.5L or 1L capacity.
  • A proper “trash bin” is not required; even a plastic bag or tote bag would do.
  • The machine must include 6 pieces of “waste,” i.e. things which are not in use anymore. Examples include cardboard boxes and plastic bags.
  • Find different ways to use 3 bottle caps in the machine.
  • Steps may be repeated, but the length of the machine will be judged by the number of unique steps.
  • Please make a list of all the materials you used and mention them in the submission form.
  • The video should last no longer than 4 minutes.
  • Make sure all steps are visible in the video.
  • The video must be taken in one shot (i.e. no editing / splicing clips).

Submit your entries here.