Strategic AI Partnership Announced Between Bollegraaf and Greyparrot

The waste technology companies have entered into a partnership aimed at integrating advanced computer-vision sorting capabilities into global waste management.

Bollegraaf, a leading builder of recycling plants, and Greyparrot, a specialist in artificial intelligence (AI) waste analytics, have announced a strategic partnership to incorporate artificial intelligence into recycling facilities worldwide. This development reflects an ongoing evolution in the industry, as AI is transforming how recycling facilities sort materials.

Computer-vision image of fibre on a sorting line
GreyParrot computer-vision image analysis on a fibre sorting line
Under the terms of the agreement, Bollegraaf will transition its AI vision business to Greyparrot and will also make a financial investment, both totaling a $12.8 million, into Greyparrot. This investment gives Bollegraaf a non-controlling interest in Greyparrot and establishes it as a global distributor and strategic partner.

Central to this partnership is Greyparrot's Analyzer, an advanced AI-powered camera system designed to provide 100 per cent visibility into waste streams. The system is currently operational in recycling plants across 14 countries, where it utilises sophisticated AI algorithms to analyse and categorise waste materials, ensuring comprehensive tracking and sorting.

Edmund Tenfelde, CEO of Bollegraaf Recycling Solutions commented on the partnership: “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.”

The collaboration involves Greyparrot acquiring Bollegraaf’s intellectual property in vision-based computing and its AI development team. Additionally, Greyparrot plans to open a new office in the Netherlands, marking its expansion into mainland Europe.

The objective of the partnership is to retrofit thousands of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Plastics Recovery Facilities (PRFs) with AI technology to enhance recycling rates and provide detailed emissions data. The technology is intended to automate and refine the recycling process.

Speaking about the next phase for implementing their AI technology, Mikela Druckman, CEO of Greyparrot said: “Getting AI waste analytics in the hands of more plant managers, more quickly, will provide the industry [with] 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.”

GreyParrot Analyzer at the Bollegraf Test centre

In 2023, Greyparrot's Analyzer technology was utilised to analyse over 25 billion waste objects, categorising them into more than 70 categories in real-time. This process includes identifying material types, financial value, brand recognition, and greenhouse gas emissions, offering a comprehensive understanding of waste composition.

The initiative addresses a significant gap in waste monitoring, with only one per cent of waste currently being monitored in facilities, and a substantial portion of waste sorting conducted manually, even in developed economies. The partnership aims to digitise and automate waste sorting processes, capturing financial value currently lost in the system.

Druckman emphasised the urgency of the initiative: “In a world drowning in waste, a large percentage of which is recoverable, the urgency for action has never been greater. We’re excited to partner with Bollegraaf to address this challenge and pave the way for the waste industry’s largest rollout of AI to date."

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