Bollegraaf and Greyparrot: Retrofitting recycling facilities with AI technology

Bollegraaf, a builder of recycling plants, has formed a strategic partnership with Greyparrot, an innovator in AI waste analytics, to retrofit existing recycling facilities with advanced AI technology, boost recycling rates and provide detailed insights into waste streams.


Bollegraaf and Greyparrot: Retrofitting recycling facilities with AI technology

At a glance
Who: Bollegraaf and Greyparrot
What: Automation and digitisation of waste sorting processes
Where: Global, with a focus on Europe
Why: To improve recycling efficiency and waste stream visibility
When: Initiated in 2023

The challenge

The world is projected to generate 3.4 billion tonnes of waste annually by 2050, with only a small fraction currently monitored. Traditional waste sorting is labour-intensive and lacks real-time data, leading to inefficiencies and significant financial losses.

The solution

Bollegraaf and Greyparrot’s partnership leverages AI to automate and digitise waste sorting processes, providing 100% visibility into waste streams and considerably improving recycling rates and operational efficiency.

How the project works

As part of the partnership, Bollegraaf will distribute Greyparrot’s Analyzer, which uses AI camera systems to analyse waste streams in real-time across recycling plants in 14 countries. This partnership will retrofit thousands of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Plastics Recovery Facilities (PRFs) with Greyparrot’s advanced AI technology, enabling fully automated and intelligent sorting. The AI system characterises waste into more than 70 categories, revealing detailed data layers such as material type, financial value, brand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Greyparrot will also open its first mainland Europe office in the Netherlands to support this initiative.

The results

The integration of Greyparrot’s Analyzer has already analysed more than 25 billion waste objects in 2023, providing detailed insights and boosting recycling efficiency across facilities. The expected outcome is a significant reduction in waste sent to landfills and oceans.

Business benefits

The partnership brings numerous benefits to both companies. Bollegraaf enhances its recycling solutions with advanced AI capabilities, strengthening its market leadership. Greyparrot gains access to Bollegraaf’s extensive infrastructure and market reach. The combined expertise and technology foster innovation in smart recycling plants, creating competitive advantages and setting new industry standards. This collaboration also supports regulatory compliance and improves data transparency for waste managers.

Investment/savings

The project involves a total investment of $12.8m by Bollegraaf in Greyparrot. The expected ROI includes increased efficiency, reduced labour costs, and unlocking financial value from waste that was previously unmonitored.

Industry context

The global waste management industry faces a significant challenge with the increasing waste output, projected to reach 3.4 billion tonnes by 2050. With only about 5,500 facilities handling municipal solid waste worldwide, there is an urgent need to build more next-generation plants and retrofit existing ones with technologies such as AI.

In the US, the lack of visibility and automation in waste management leads to an annual loss of $80bn to $120bn. AI technology, like Greyparrot’s Analyzer, can help transform waste management by providing real-time data and enabling the shift towards a circular economy.

© Faversham House Ltd 2024 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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