Social enterprise recycler Bryson Recycling has installed an AI-driven waste sorting robot to increase the efficiency and quality of its recycling service.
Following the introduction of its kerbside recycling products, the Kerb-Sort vehicle and the Wheelie Box, Bryson has worked with provider Recycleye Limited to introduce AI-powered sortation technology at its facility in Mallusk, north of Belfast.
Bryson’s director, Eric Randall, said: “We are delighted to be working with Recycleye to assess the potential of AI in our plant. Our expectation is that the technology will help track and improve quality standards for key material streams we sell to local markets which will ultimately help the growth of the UK’s circular economy.”
The waste-picking system, known as Recycleye Robotics, performs the physical tasks of identifying, picking and placing materials at a faster rate than human operatives, and in a consistent and reliable way.
According to the partnership, automated waste sorting is also more accurate, bringing greater purity in sorted items. While robotics can run 24/7, which is more economically efficient than reliance on manual pickers, a role which often experiences high turnover and recruitment issues.
The intelligent picking system is powered by Recycleye Vision, an AI computer vision system driven by machine learning, which detects all individual items on waste streams by material and object. The waste-sorting robot is expected to help Bryson improve the quantity and quality of their materials they send for recycling.
The AI system sits on top of the facility’s existing waste stream conveyor belts, providing the site manager with visibility on the waste stream and helping to improve the efficiency and operations of the plant’s sorting processes. The robot is used on existing waste streams, alongside but separate to human operatives, who continue to work in the company’s facilities.
Victor Dewulf, CEO, Recycleye, added: “Waste automation will help to solve the world’s waste problem and we are so proud to have been chosen by Bryson to bring this automation to Northern Ireland.
“Our Recycleye Vision solution enables Bryson to track the purity of its sorted materials, helping to generate greater value for this leading social enterprise – which is equally good for local people and for the planet.”