The research project based on Intelligence and Artificial Vision Reciclai360 will allow waste to be identified before depositing it in recycling bins through an app.

The correct management of solid urban waste is one of the pillars for the sustainable development of cities in the short and long term. So much so that the European Parliament has established that at least 55% of municipal waste must be recycled by 2025, an incremental objective that must be raised to 60% and 65% by 2030 and 2035. To achieve this goal, the ciudadano plays a great role, as citizen-consumer and citizen-recycler, in terms of their consumption patterns and their behavior in the separation of waste.

Reciclai360 focuses on this necessary involvement of the citizen and is committed to the development of a digital and collaborative environment based on intelligent algorithms that allow the nature and origin of the waste to be determined before the citizen deposits it in the yellow, gray and brown containers. , to avoid errors in the separation. The project also contemplates the application of gamification and persuasion techniques that promote and improve the recycling habits of citizens through an app.

This is an initiative financed by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI) and led by the technological solutions company Nunsys, in which the Valencian Institute of Artificial Intelligence (UPV-Vrain), the Technological Institute of Plastics (Aimplas ), as a strategic player in the ecodesign of plastic containers, and the companies Tetma and Genia Bioenergy, for their knowledge and experience in the management of urban waste and its recovery in the form of biogas.

Within the framework of the project, a technological platform capable of connecting the entire recycling value chain will be implemented. To this end, innovative technologies based on Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Vision, Big Data, Digital Twins, as well as persuasion techniques based on computational argumentation, developed by Nunsys and UPV-Vrain, will be used.

Specifically, the project includes, among other developments, an app that will allow citizens to take photographs of the contents of the garbage bag, a cloud service that will analyze and classify the images, an intelligent platform to predict the amounts and types of waste that will reach the recycling plants, as well as a gamification system that encourages the use of the app, activates more sustainable guidelines and behaviors, detects errors or confusions in the beliefs of the citizen, and at the same time, offers explanatory arguments to change their Current habits regarding the separation at source of waste.

As a result of this project, citizens will be able to better differentiate between recyclable, compostable and reusable plastic containers, since today there is still confusion when depositing the containers in the appropriate container. They will also be able to find out what type of waste is the most difficult to manage, especially if it is not well classified at source, such as plastic wrap that covers organic material or aluminum coffee capsules.

And it is that the separation and incorrect disposal of waste causes cross-contamination in waste flows, reducing the circularity of plastics, those responsible for the work stand out.

Thus, Reciclai360 will reduce the percentage of improper waste received by recycling plants, such as Tetma, and at the same time, increase the organic fraction that reaches recovery plants, such as Genia Bioenergy’s biogas plant, which achieves a more efficient anaerobic digestion from a technical-economic point of view, when the flow of substrates is more homogeneous and with the appropriate physical-chemical conditions.

In addition, Aimplas will be able to incorporate the feedback from citizens regarding their packaging consumption patterns and value them through the generation of new packaging solutions with a higher degree of recyclability. The technology center will also generate new ecodesign guides, which will be applied in the development of packaging through various pilot tests.

Finally, and as a validation phase for all the solutions developed, Reciclai360 includes the collaboration of the Vall d’Uixó City Council, the Climate Change Department of the Generalitat Valenciana, the Castellón City Council and the Zonal Waste Plan Consortium (C3/ V1).

This research is funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), with the co-financing of the European Union, within the call for Strategic Projects in Cooperation of 2022.