20 February 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Defra to fund digital waste tracking projects

More than £400,000 is to be provided to five companies in the UK to develop “innovative digital solutions” to use technology to track waste from its source through to final disposal.

The funding was announced by the government yesterday (February 19), which has claimed that the process of transporting and disposing of waste in the UK “can be complicated and at times fragmented”.

According to Defra, technology will be used to learn more about how waste is generated, handled, and disposed of in the UK

In a statement Defra said it “wants to know more about how this waste is generated, handled, and disposed of in the UK”, and said that the tracking of waste can help regulators with a number of issues.

Waste crime

This includes taking action against waste crime and spotting opportunities for companies to join up their waste operations. Defra added that “this will help to maximise the value of waste as a resource, and minimise damage to the environment”.

£250,000 of the funding comes from cabinet’s £20 million ‘Innovate UK’ fund, which aims to encourage tech firms to deliver solutions to public sector challenges, while £150,000 was provided by Defra.

The money has been split between five companies, and after a three month feasibility stage, up to two projects may then be selected and funded up to £500,000 each to develop and field test a prototype.

Commenting on the funding, environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: “We want to move towards a more circular economy, where waste is valued as a resource and reused. We are also committed to cracking down on waste criminals who exploit the system.”

Below are the projects which have been selected.

Dr Coffey added: “Congratulations to the winning projects. I look forward to seeing their innovative waste tracking solutions which will help us to meet these ambitions, and play their part in helping us achieve zero avoidable waste in the UK by 2050.”

Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden commented:  “The effective management of waste will help improve the environment and boost this emerging industry, clearly highlighting how our investment in smarter technologies is crucial to tackling public sector challenges.”

AI & Blockchain in the waste and recycling sector – a one day conference

The use of artificial intelligence and Blockchain for waste and recycling services will be the topic of a one-day conference to be held on 12 March 2019 in London. The event is organised by letsrecycle.com and more details can be found HERE


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