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Waste Scanning System Set to Improve Recycling Rate

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 10:08:43

A new type of recycling is being trialled at a zoo in the UK in an attempt to make sure that waste which can be processed sustainably is sorted accurately by consumers.

At the moment there is often confusion surrounding the state of recyclable products, not just in terms of the kinds of materials which are eligible for recycling but also the receptacles that are appropriate for depositing said items in public.

Researchers from IBM have created a cutting-edge solution which intends to overcome this by pre-scanning waste items and then letting visitors to Marwell Zoo know which bin to place them in on-site in real time, according to the Daily Echo.

Zoo spokesperson Duncan East said that sustainability was obviously an important element for a zoo to promote, especially as many of the visitors are young children and instilling recycling habits in the next generation is key to making the UK more eco-friendly in the future.

A number of solutions work in unison in order to achieve the near-instant scanning and identification of waste products. A camera in combination with a cloud-powered machine learning platform allows objects of many kinds to be analysed, then advice is given as to which bin is best suited to the item in question.

The most impressive thing about this scanner is that because it harnesses the cloud, it is not limited to the bank of recycling bins at the zoo itself, where a camera system is set up. It can also be harnessed using a smartphone app and the built-in camera found on millions of mobile phones.

The fact that this technology is effectively portable by design means that it will not only be able to aid the zoo in the short term but in the long term could be rolled out to eliminate recycling confusion internationally.




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