It is one of the most pressing issues facing the environment that requires urgent attention.
The world produces over 2 billion tons of solid waste each year and this will only grow as the population grows.
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Landfills contaminate the earth and release toxic methane gas which is even more harmful than carbon dioxide.
The future of recycling was the subject of debate at this year’s Web Summit in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. GreyParrot is a technology company looking to embrace the latest technologies to help turn the tide on this problem.
Its Chief Product Officer Ambarish Mitra helped implement machine learning to improve the waste sorting process to make the recycling industry more efficient.
“Artificial intelligence has played a huge role in waste management because the majority of the waste management industry is a mechanical industry,” he told CGTN Europe.
“And there’s a lot of waste and the majority of recyclables aren’t recycled, because what can’t be measured can’t be sold, and that’s why this problem hasn’t been solved.”
Recent advances in technology mean that robots can now differentiate between most types of plastics, resins and paper.
Thus, the installations can operate more efficiently and operate longer. This makes the industry more profitable, allowing more recycling plants to be built.
Convincing big companies to recycle with AI
One of the global market leaders in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in this sector is AMP Robotics.
He was able to adapt more traditional installations to incorporate this new technology with relatively little investment required.
Adoption has been impressive, and CEO Matanya Horowitz says the economy of scale bodes very well for this vital industry.
“You’ll see more materials accepted into these recycling programs, so increasingly dirty materials become more valuable. So you’ll find that more people will have access to recycling,” he told CGTN.
“The business will be fundamentally stronger. And people in the recycling business will be looking for material streams, and less and less in demand from the consumer,” he adds.
For the environment and the health of the planet, the AI revolution in waste management cannot happen soon enough.