TiTech’s Magic Recycling Sorting Machine

Oh my lord do I hate sorting recycling. But I’m a good citizen, and I understand the benefits, so I do it. Sticky fingers and precious time are a price I must pay. But soon we won’t ever have to do it again.

Air jets and cameras and magnets…oh my! New systems for automatically sorting recycling are completely removing the need for pre-sorting, and thus dramatically improving recycling rates and efficiency across the world. While magnets have been in place to sort tin for ages, TiTech’s Near InfraRed sensor sorts recyclables basically by looking at them.

The technology is able to determine the "type, shape, color and position" of the items. Then, air jets positioned after the camera then launch the item onto a different conveyor system. The system works with 98% accuracy and can process up to 10 tons per hour. Currently 1,000 of these are active in 16 countries around the world.

Eliminating the amount of people needed to run a recycling plant will help to lower the cost and make it competitive to new materials. This is great for people that already buy recyclables, and only encourages those that don’t to make the change.

via Treehugger and the Economist