In late March, the Carton Council of North America joined forces with Alpine Waste & Recycling and AMP Robotics to test the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the recycling of food and beverage cartons via a robot called AMP Cortex at Alpine Waste & Recycling’s Denver facility. And now, the Carton Council of North America and AMP Robotics have announced that a second installation of the AMP Cortex robot has been installed at Dem-Con Companies’ Minnesota facility.
The AMP Cortex identifies, grabs and sorts food and beverage cartons from the recycling stream so that the items can be sent to recyclers and turned into new materials, such as tissues, paper towels and other paper materials, as well as sustainable building and construction materials. Once fully operational, the robot will be able to pick up 60 cartons per minute (or more), considerably more than a human’s average pickup rate of 40.
“We are constantly looking at innovative ways to maximize recycling, and the AMP Cortex is a perfect example,’’ said Bill Keegan, president of Dem-Con Companies, in a statement. “We were already recycling cartons recognizing their value; however, our method wasn’t as efficient as it could be. This system will assure we are sorting every carton.”
The installation was made possible through a grant from the Carton Council as part of its ongoing efforts to improve and expand carton recycling. The Carton Council has a comprehensive strategy in place to further grow access and drive the recycling of aseptic and gable-top cartons that includes ensuring strong end markets and sorting performance, deploying school recycling programs, participating in relevant policy and legislative dialogues and motivating consumers to recycle.
“AI offers great opportunities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of carton recycling,’’ said Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America and vice president of environment for Tetra Pak Cluster Americas, in a statement. “We view the growth of the AMP Cortex as a cost-effective, long-term way to continue to expand carton recycling, including making it possible for more facilities to come on board with carton recycling.’’