- Finnish technology firm ZenRobotics Ltd. announced it has delivered a wind-powered ZenRobotics Recycler sorting system to Carl F in Malome, Sweden. This is the first sorter of its kind in the country, according to a company press release.
- The automated sorter is intended to recover up to 25% more waste than before, amounting to an increase of 12,000 tons of material annually.
- ZenRobotics CCO Rainer Rehn explained in the release that this system is an example of a high-tech automated process installed for a minimum investment. Due to its ability to run on wind power without manual assistance, the line has also operated at nights which has allowed the facility to add capacity.
ZenRobotics first introduced its robotic sorter in the U.S. in early 2016 and has slowly expanded its global reach as the first company to sell a fully operational robotic waste sorting system. By penetrating the U.S. market, the company exemplified the opportunities for advanced technologies in the North American waste and recycling industry, which is becoming a bigger focus of industry leaders and executives. In late 2016, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) President Antonis Mavropoulos discussed the importance of data and robotics across the industry during a discussion in Washington, D.C. Additionally, SCS Engineers CIO Jay Hatho elaborated on the important uses of data at the recent SWANApalooza event in Reno, NV.
Other competitors have also partnered with waste-related organizations to leverage the opportunity for more robotics in the space. Earlier this month, The Carton Council announced a successful pilot program with AMP Robotics that uses an AI-driven robot "Clarke" to sort cartons at a rate of 60 per minute — compared to the human average of 40 per minute. This advancement has the potential to improve efficiency across the entire recycling industry, which could lead to higher processing and recovery rates nationwide.
ZenRobotics' use of wind power is also an interesting advancement that allows Carl F to take advantage of a sustainable approach to operations. As more cities look to invest in technologies that are both smart and sustainable, the company may have an offering that pushes it ahead of the curve.