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Is artificial intelligence the future of waste disposal?

A pioneering programme in the United States is showing that AI and robotics could play an important role in the future of waste disposal and recycling.

Alpine Waste & Recycling, a facility in Denver, USA has pioneered a project in which a robotic device has been proven to work more efficiently than its human colleagues. The project, which partnered with AMP robotics and the Carton Council of North America, has announced that their robotic machine was able to pick cartons at a rate of 60 per minute - 20 more than human workers found possible.

The robot, named Clarke, after sci-fi author Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, is equipped with spider-like arms and custom grippers which allows it to separate cartons fast and effectively. Designed by AMP robotics founder Matanya Horowitz the robot is able to quickly identify and pick contaminated objects out of the assembly line that are classed as unsuitable and could contaminate a batch of recycling.

This latest robotic trial follows on from Apple’s success with recycling robot ‘Liam’ who currently dissembles 1.2 million phones every year for the tech giant. Apple’s pioneering robotic worker helps to disassemble a variety of apple products extracting valuable aluminium, copper, platinum, silver, tin and gold reducing the need for mining of precious materials.

Where traditional types of sorting technology would rely on coding for it to differentiate between contaminated and uncontaminated materials, robotic systems are able to learn from example and can begin to understand what to look out for by learning from sample materials.

While in theory robotics could be an enormous help in the UK too, where recycling rates have been getting worse, critics are quick to insist that robotic aids remain expensive and cannot yet handle the complexities of waste management.

Here at LSPS recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state of the art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

How to profit from your spring cleaning efforts

Spring cleaning is often traced back to the Iranian Norouz, which is the Persian New Year. On this day Iranians would take part in ‘khooneh tekouni’ which roughly translated means “shaking the house”. Today, spring cleaning is a proud tradition in the UK too and a fantastic way to make your home more peaceful and calm. However, the benefits don’t end at making space. With the rise of online selling sites, more and more people are earning cold, hard cash from the clutter found around their homes.

Cashing in on spring cleaning
In the past car boot sales and garage sales were one of the only ways to get rid of your unwanted belongings locally. While both methods of selling your junk still remain popular, nothing has quite caught on so much in the past few years as the idea of online selling.

Online classifieds
There are numerous websites online where you can sell items from your home. Websites like allow you to post classified ads with photographs and detailed descriptions to entice buyers. Once you’ve sold an item it is then up to you to arrange a pick up or post your item to the person who has purchased it. Alternatives to Gumtree include PreLoved and Craigslist which are both popular and largely free to use.

Online auction sites
An alternative model to classified ad websites is to use an auction website like eBay known as the ‘World’s Online Marketplace’. Founded in 1995 by French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar, eBay today has 167 million users and over 1 billion live listings at any one time. It’s an easy to use website, with minimal fees and an easy to understand model and you may be surprised at what you can actually sell on there.

Specialist sites
Whether its artwork and paintings, gym equipment or musical instruments there is a whole network of websites online where you can sell to specific audiences. If you have an item which you’ve been struggling to sell on a site like eBay which has a massive audience, you may find that you can gather more interest from hunting down a forum or specialist seller website which caters for your specific niche. An example of this is the website Etsy which deals specifically with handmade items. 

Social media
A newcomer to the world of second hand sales is Facebook. Facebook recently launched Facebook Marketplace as an attempt to take on popular companies like eBay & Gumtree. Facebook users have been creating local ‘groups’ and selling items to people nearby for a long time now but their new mobile App makes the process even easier. It allows users to easily buy, sell, trade and barter for items with fellow users.

What to do with everything else?
While it would be nice to think that there is a buyer out there for every piece of junk you find in your home the sad truth is that it can often be harder than you might think. In particular items which are easily available, low cost or broken are not always a straight forward sale and rather than cluttering up your home, or ending up in landfill, should be disposed of in a skip and sorted by a qualified waste management service.

Here at LSPS we have a range of different sized skips to help you with your spring cleaning. Click here to book a skip online or call us on freephone 0800 083 7807 to find out more.

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