“Largest ever” deployment of AI in waste sector announced



AI waste analytics company Greyparrot has entered into a strategic partnership with Bollegraaf with the aim of retrofitting thousands of Materials Recovery Facilities and Plastics Recovery Facilities with advanced AI capabilities.

Greyparrot described Bollegraaf as the “world’s largest” builder of recycling plants with over a 50% share in the global recycling plant market. Greyparrot continued that retrofitting facilities with advanced AI capabilities will boost recycling rates and quantify material emissions.

As part of the agreement, Bollegraaf will transfer its AI vision business to Greyparrot and also make a cash investment, for a total value of $12.8M, for a non-controlling stake in the company.

Greyparrot will also acquire Bollegraaf’s vision-based computing intellectual property (IP) and AI development team as part of the deal. 

It’s time for a revolutionary leap in how we value, capture, and manage our waste. 

Bollegraaf is set to act as a worldwide distributor and strategic partner for Greyparrot’s Analyser, which the company said currently provides “100% visibility” into waste streams at recycling plants in 14 countries using AI camera systems.

In 2023, Greyparrot said its Analyser technology helped facilities analyse over 25 billion waste objects, characterising them into 70+ categories in real-time, including material type, financial value, brand, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Greyparrot said that only 1% of waste is monitored in facilities, and even in advanced economies, 40% of waste sorting is done by hand. For plastic waste in the U.S., a lack of visibility and automation contributes to $80B-$120B being lost to landfills and incineration annually.

AI, and the data it provides in real-time, will help digitise and automate systems to capture lost financial value, Greyparrot said.

Greyparrot computer-vision image analysis on a fibre sorting line.

Mikela Druckman, CEO of Greyparrot, commented: “In a world drowning in waste, a large percentage of which is recoverable, the urgency for action has never been greater. It’s time for a revolutionary leap in how we value, capture, and manage our waste. 

“We’re excited to partner with Bollegraaf and add to our team of experts in artificial intelligence and deep learning, to address this challenge and pave the way for the waste industry’s largest rollout of AI to date.

“Getting AI waste analytics in the hands of more plant managers, more quickly, will provide the industry the data-driven insights needed to build and operate smart Materials Recovery Facilities that unlock new value from recovered materials and decrease the environmental impact of waste.”

Greyparrot said it is also now set to open its first office in mainland Europe in the Netherlands.

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