Recycleye: Teaching Old MRFs New Tricks

Posted on Posted on 30 Oct 2020

Following KTN's event on Using Robotics & AI to support waste management, we have a guest article from Recycleye on their computer vision system.

With the UK failing to achieve its 50% recycling target by the end of 2020, how can we put the country back on track to the government’s 65% recycling target by 2035? One company is enabling our existing waste sorting infrastructure to unlock its full potential, by leveraging data, AI and analytics to increase overall throughput and purity.


Research conducted by Recycleye is enabling the true commoditisation of waste.  Recycleye has developed a computer vision system that replicates the power of human vision to identify every item in waste streams. The company’s vision system is able to produce 24/7 waste item passport logs at material, object and brand level.

By providing this level of analytics, Recycleye are bringing transparency to waste streams through digitisation. Their vision system, which is currently deployed in the UK and France, is enabling MRFs to optimise plant operations by leveraging live performance knowledge.


Founded in 2019, Recycleye was spun out of CEO Victor Dewulf’s PhD research at Imperial College London. Over the past 6 months alone, the company has since grown from two people with an idea, to a team of 14 mission driven technologists and creatives who are placing intelligence at the heart of the recycling industry. Recycleye’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition towards a circular economy, by bringing total transparency, traceability and accountability to the waste management industry has gained significant backing; the company’s strategic partnerships include Microsoft, Imperial College London, The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, the European Union, Innovate UK, as well as a host of others.


Recycleye is now also merging its computer vision algorithms with affordable robotics to develop the world’s first fully automated material recovery facility, eliminating the industry’s reliance on manual labour for quality control. The company is working with some of the largest players in the waste industry, using its technologies to digitise and decentralise existing waste sorting infrastructure. Recycleye’s solutions are improving the economic case to recycle as they unlock the full potential of MRF infrastructure.


Visit Recycleye’s website here.


On 8th October 2020, KTN’s Robotics & AI Innovation Network hosted an event focused on the use of robotics and Artificial Intelligence to support waste management. You can watch back the recording below:

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