Waste Recycling Becoming Cleaner & Greener
The trend in automation of waste recycling activities in the form of balers, construction and demolition recycling systems, recycling control, and conveying systems is picking up. This is occurring in industrial settings and in the public sector.
To improve waste recycling, automation introduces industrial and distributed controls, motor control systems, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and supervisory control and data systems (SCADA) to make waste recycling cheaper and more efficient. But that’s not all. New technologies such as hyperspectral image analysis and machine vision systems help to significantly improve the performance of machine vision systems for automatic material sorting. In addition, drones are now being used to help automated systems “see” better.
Huge investments in engineering research and development (R&D) have led to the availability of more and better complete turnkey automation systems that include quality control and inspection all done with green energy efficiency in mind.
Public & Private Uses of Automated Waste Systems
In the public sector, for example, cities around the world, including Salem, Massachusetts, are implementing new trash and recycling collection programs that provide collection, automated pickup, and automated sorting.
In the industrial sector, large, well-known companies and multinationals are getting involved in the waste and recycling industry. According to Waste360, Volvo is developing a Robot-based Autonomous Refuse (ROAR) handling system they expect will reduce the heavy lifting and dumping currently required of human workers who are injured at a high rate.
This year’s first Lego League Robotics Competition, taking place in August 2016, is focused on trash. The robotics competition involves middle and elementary students.
Finally, according to Waste Management World (WMW), the future of trash and waste recycling may be underground with Automated Waste Conveying Systems.
The following video shows the first tests of ROAR in which the robot and a drone work together in refuse handling.