Two of the four robots will be installed over a fibre line with the objective of picking non-paper items such as plastics, cans and cardboard to reduce contamination.
The remaining two robots will operate on a residual line, where they will target the removal of recyclable materials, diverting higher volumes into recycling, rather than to EfW.
The four additional machines will add to the existing Recycleye robot already installed at the facility. Recycleye said this “marks the first announced robot re-purchase in the UK and Ireland”.
According to a statement from the company, the waste-picking robots, known as Recycleye Robotics, perform the physical tasks of identifying, picking and placing materials at a consistently more accurate rate than human operatives. The robots operate alongside, but separate, to human operatives, who continue to work in the company’s facilities.
The “intelligent picking system” behind the robots is powered by AI, which detects all individual items on waste streams by material and object. The AI system sits on top of the facility’s existing waste stream conveyor belts, providing the engineering manager “with total visibility of the waste stream and helping to improve the efficiency and operations of the plant’s sorting processes,” Recycleye explained.
The company’s chief executive, Victor Dewulf, said: “We are delighted that Bryson Recycling has chosen to continue working with us to build on their initial investment in our AI-powered waste robots. This is a strong statement of confidence in the value Recycleye robots bring to waste sorting and to the economics of materials recovery, and we are proud to be able to support Bryson.”
Bryson Recycling collects and processes materials from over 50% of homes in Northern Ireland and employs over 350 people across 12 sites in Northern Ireland, Donegal and Wales.
At the Mallusk MRF, it sorts recycling from wheeled bins from five council areas in Northern Ireland. These are: Antrim and Newtownabbey district council, Ards and North Down borough council, Belfast city council, Lisburn and Castlereagh city council and Mid and East Antrim borough council.
Jaroslaw Stanislawek, engineering manager at Bryson Recycling, said: “We have decided to purchase four further robots from Recycleye, following the great results from the first one – almost 8,500 run hours, with around 5,000 Kg of materials picked per week, and with an availability greater than 98%. We feel confident this new installation will further improve the consistency in our material quality.
“Investments such as this enable us to stay on top of the benefits of new technology” added Katy Fulton, Director at Bryson Recycling. “We are a significant local employer and that means running a profitable business that is open to change and innovation. I am confident these additional waste picking robots will bring material quality benefits to Bryson and to our customers”.