April 25, 2024

Robotic Sorters With AI Technology Deployed in Fresno Recycling Center

Caglia Environmental, based in Fresno, California, announced improvements to recycling technology at its Cedar Avenue Recycling and Transfer Station (CARTS). The enhancement is made possible by funding from The Recycling Partnership’s PET Recycling Coalition. Caglia Environmental was one of 12 businesses and organizations in North America to receive a PET Recycling Coalition grant.

The grant has enabled the installation of robotic sorters using RecycleOS from Everest Labs. RecycleOS software is designed to identify PET plastic and classify into three specialized streams, which each robot efficiently sorts into three different bunkers. This process is unique as most facilities that accept PET collect and bale the three streams as one. The system has the ability to separate these plastics into PET bottles, thermoformed packaging and pigmented/opaque PET.

Sandwiches in polyester food trays.

Thermoformed products such as food packaging will be separated from bottles by the new system. Source: Getty

“Being at the forefront of separating PET into specialized streams is a proactive leap towards the bigger and broader recycling landscape that extended producer responsibility (EPR) will bring to California and the industry,” says Adam Gendell, director of material advancement at The Recycling Partnership.

Caglia Environmental‘s new investments in EverestLabs solutions are expected to increase the efficiency of PET plastic recycling and ensure the purity of recycled materials, thereby enhancing their value and sustainability. The facility can now sort clear PET bottles, thermoformed products, and pigmented/opaque PET into separate streams, significantly improving the recycling process and output quality. This retrofit represents the first time a material recovery facility (MRF) has consistently targeted each of these three product types as separate commodities and will serve as a benchmark for MRF’s seeking to do this in the future.

“The Caglia team saw right away that RecycleOS-powered robotics and data dramatically improved their bottom line on their Last-Chance line,” says JD Ambati, founder and CEO of EverestLabs.

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