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Recycleye, a London-based waste management and recycling tech, has announced that it will showcase its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered collection robots at IFAT 2022 in Munich. The company says the equipment, called Recycleye Robotics, can identify and sort materials faster than humans.

In response to the high operating expenses associated with manual collection at material recovery facilities, Recycleye has developed an AI-powered computer vision system called Recycleye Vision that identifies each item in a waste stream using a low cost camera and machine learning algorithms. This system is integrated into the robot, a collector developed in partnership with the Japanese manufacturer Fanuc, which automates the physical task of separating waste into pure material streams.

The machine has several applications, including negative sorting. It can sort materials like polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene/polypropylene (PE/PP), aluminum and paper.

The company says it has installed the first wave of such waste sorting robots at material recovery facilities in the UK, France and Italy. These facilities have achieved up to 55 successful samples per minute, less than 1% contamination, and an increase in target material output volume of 12% at some sites.

The company says that with this technology, global waste sorting processes could sort to higher granularities more efficiently, extracting things like food-grade PET from residual lines. This would reduce the cost of sorting waste and increase profit margins on resale bales due to the higher purity of the material.

“By making recycling more economically attractive, our technology will prevent more of Europe’s valuable recyclable materials from being lost to landfill, proving that waste does not exist, only materials in the wrong place,” said the CEO of Recycleye, Victor DeWulf.

Recycleye is exhibiting at IFAT 2022 in Munich from May 30 to June 3 and will be in the startup area of ​​Hall B4 on Stand 34.

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