The better waste is sorted, the better it is recycled.
Which is why Veolia has introduced innovative technologies in its High-Performance Sorting Centers, mainly located in France. In Amiens, for example, two patented processes – Sequential Adaptive Loop Technology, or SALTO, and remotely operated sorting – produce much faster and effective sorting; 2.5 times more waste is sorted per hour and 6% more household packaging is recovered at the Amiens plant.
The SALTO process uses an algorithm to control a single machine that separates out five different materials – and several different types of plastics – to significantly improve both qualitative and quantitative waste sorting. SALTO has enabled forthcoming changes in household waste sorting in France to be taken into account in advance of legislation. SALTO has been designed to be open-ended and to take in other waste feedstock, such as plastics from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
In June 2018, Veolia took a step further when it equipped the site with Europe’s first artificial intelligence (AI) robot for household waste. The Max-AI® sorting robot sorts 3,600 articles an hour compared with 2,200 for a human operating agent. The robot has a two-camera vision system that sees materials on the conveyor system. This information is transmitted to the AI brain, which instructs its articulated arm to throw out non-fibrous waste. The new development is an example of how Veolia’s Research and Innovation Department is paving the way toward Industry 4.0.
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