World’s largest builder of recycling facilities teams up with AI waste analytics leader to make thousands of recycling plants more efficient in response to the growing waste crisis.
The deal includes Greyparrot acquiring Bollegraaf’s vision-based computing intellectual property (IP) and esteemed AI development team. Greyparrot will also open its first office in mainland Europe in the Netherlands.
With this groundbreaking partnership, both companies aim to retrofit thousands of existing Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Plastics Recovery Facilities (PRFs) with advanced AI capabilities to significantly boost recycling rates and quantify material emissions. The collaboration will bring forth revolutionary smart recycling plants that are fully automated and agile, unlocking new value in waste streams while diverting millions of tonnes of waste away from landfills, oceans, and incinerators. In a development set to transform waste management, this marks a momentous acceleration in the global shift from a linear to a circular economy. Together, Greyparrot and Bollegraaf commit to developing further products that combine the strengths of both companies to make the vision of fully automated and intelligent sorting facilities a reality.
With over a 50% share in the global recycling plant market, providing turnkey recycling solutions, Bollegraaf is well-positioned to provide the physical infrastructure, while Greyparrot’s proven ability to embed AI waste analytics into software and hardware systems adds the essential digital layer. In 2023 alone, Greyparrot’s Analyzer helped facilities analyse more than 25 billion waste objects, characterising them into 70+ categories in real-time to reveal seven layers of data, including material type, financial value, brand, and GHG emissions.
By 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.4 billion tonnes of waste annually. With only around 5,500 facilities handling municipal solid waste currently operating worldwide, there is a critical need to build more next-generation plants and retrofit older ones with new technologies – such as AI – to speed up processing times and improve recycling rates to meet the growing tsunami of waste.
Today, only 1% of waste is monitored in facilities, and even in advanced economies, 40% of waste sorting is done by hand. AI, and the data it unlocks in real-time, will help digitise and automate systems to capture a massive amount of lost financial value. For plastic waste in the U.S. alone, lack of visibility and automation contributes to $80B-$120B being lost a year to landfills and incineration. Greyparrot’s Analyzer gives 100% visibility into waste composition to unlock a new, more intelligent level of insight about waste that Greyparrot calls waste intelligence. With automated, real-time waste monitoring and digitised systems powered by AI, the industry can tackle the issue of ‘invisible waste’ and transform a
traditionally labour-intensive process.
With increased data transparency, waste managers can confidently demonstrate regulatory and contractual compliance. This vital waste data on the post-consumption world will foster unprecedented collaboration across the waste value chain and those influencing it, uniting producers, waste managers and regulators to recover and reuse waste materials more sustainably.
“With 63 years of industry experience, Bollegraaf continues to be a global leader in fully-automated innovative turnkey recycling systems. The future is clear: to further increase recycling rates we need more insight and collaboration across the value chain. We have been looking to implement AI that can power fact-based and automated decision-making to provide our clients with a much more accurate overview of their waste composition and ultimately maximise their ROI,” said Edmund Tenfelde, CEO of Bollegraaf Recycling Solutions.
“We are thrilled to make this strategic investment and partner with Greyparrot to bring waste intelligence to both upcoming recycling infrastructure deployments and existing facilities worldwide. We believe that Bollegraaf’s comprehensive knowledge of automation of recycling MRF operations, premium equipment quality, and unique engineering expertise empowered with Greyparrot AI systems represent the one-of-a-kind synergy that is destined for success.”
“In a world drowning in waste, a large percentage of which is recoverable, the urgency for action has never been greater. It’s time for a revolutionary leap in how we value, capture, and manage our waste. We’re excited to partner with Bollegraaf, and add to our team of experts in artificial intelligence and deep learning, to address this challenge and pave the way for the waste industry’s largest rollout of AI to date,” said Mikela Druckman, CEO of Greyparrot. “Getting AI waste analytics in the hands of more plant managers, more quickly, will provide the industry the data-driven insights needed to build and operate smart MRFs that unlock new value from recovered materials and decrease the environmental impact of
waste. Collaboration with plant builders and other key players is critical to making this happen, and it’s a major reason why Greyparrot is hardware agnostic, making it possible to integrate our platform with all types of systems. Progress in addressing the waste crisis can only happen if we work together and commit to systemic change driven by waste intelligence.”