Technology is a key factor in the journey towards a circular economy model. For this reason, TheCircularLab is working to achieve smart waste management and thus advance in the implementation of an effective smart city model, through the application of more cutting edge technology and big data. In this regard, an innovative information and management platform has been created to make packaging collection, selection and recycling processes more efficient. It is divided into three phases: collection, processing and recycling.
In this first phase, in which waste is transported from the containers to the selection plants, a platform has been created to coordinate:
- Smart, localised and connected containers
- Lorries connected by GPS that determine routes and weight
- Smart route management in real time
This phase makes reference to the moment in which waste reaches the selection plants, where it is separated in accordance with the materials it is comprised of. To optimise this part of the process, at TheCircularLab industry 4.0 paradigms are followed, with the aim of developing and transforming traditional processes into intelligent ones, with work being performed in the following ways:
- Development of new technologies for the control and optimisation of the processing cycle.
- Improvements to the efficiency in the characterisation and automatic routing of inbound waste and flow control at the plants
- Analysis of the logistics chain in order to optimise processes
- Design of vision and artificial intelligence systems
- Inclusion of robotic selection systems
This last phase, in which waste is transformed into new raw material for the manufacture of new products, work revolves around different technological processes:
- Automatic quality control of outbound materials
- Material quality certification
- Recyclers’ digital logistical management systems