What Is Unstoppable Sorting?

What would you do if you were “unstoppable?” What would your business be like with unstoppable sorting? To us, unstoppable sorting is waste and recycling sorting that not only meets and exceeds your expectations but pushes your own limits to what is possible for your business – and we do it with robotics.

In today’s world of waste sorting – whether it’s organic waste, co-mingled recycling, or construction and demolition waste you’re constrained by your people. Unstoppable Sorting seeks to circumvent these issues by introducing robots to replace humans in jobs that are difficult to fill and dangerous to hold.

 

Problems Solved by Unstoppable Sorting

Leadpoint USA identified 10 key problems in the waste and recycling industry and we’ve added a few of our own to that list. Most – if not all – of these problems can be resolved with Unstoppable Sorting and it’s made affordable for sorting facilities of all sizes with Sorting-as-a-Service – but more on that later. First, let’s name these problems and how we can resolve them for you.

 

Employing robots and leveraging the power of Unstoppable Sorting solves:

 

1. Human Issues 

Let’s face it: no one likes a dirty job. Staffing issues take up a disproportionate amount of time. You might feel like you’re constantly in a cycle of hiring, training, and trying to retain the few employees willing to sort. If you want to expand operations, not only does that mean more hiring and training, but now you’re looking at facility changes, too, like more parking, extra locker rooms, expanding break rooms, additional restroom facilities, or adding a new shift…and finding people willing to work those hours. Robots don’t need parking spaces and locker rooms. They don’t take vacation days, they always show up on time, and they never mention salary increases. In fact, robots eventually start paying you for the privilege of working there if you use the Sorting-as-a-Service model. Better still: they love dirty jobs.

 

2. Equipment Issues

Downtime is a fact of life in the waste industry. With municipal recycling programs growing, haulers are adding more trucks, routes, carts, and drivers – and each element of that equation is a potential risk for downtime. By opting into Unstoppable Sorting through robotics, you can reduce the number of routes and equipment needed even as you grow your recycling program and sort around the clock. Robots can be trained to pick out certain color bags containing recyclables, thereby eliminating the need for people to sort their recyclables. This means recycling programs no longer require separate routes, carts, and trucks – which means your overhead isn’t about to double. New recycling program customers just bagged their recyclables and put them in the trash. The robots do all the work. The icing on the cake? Fewer routes and trucks means fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

 

3. Safety & Poor or Nonexistent Processes

Your staff is exposed to chemicals, dusts, contaminants, and equipment hazards. It’s no secret that the waste industry is one of the most dangerous fields of occupation. What if you could make your team more efficient and safer? Unstoppable Sorting allows you to move your frontline sorters out of danger by letting the robots do the dirty work. The robots are fast, rugged, and equipped to tolerate exposure to things that could harm your human workers. Utilizing robotic technology establishes new safety processes for your organization that can reduce the number of deaths, injuries, and workers compensation claims. You can bring the “unstoppable” concept to company processes and make sustainable change in the industry.

 

4. Quality of Recyclables & Ease of Recycling

Quality has been a huge driver of change in the industry. There’s pressure to move faster, sort cleaner, and save money all at the same time. In some cases, this pressure gets directed back to the people throwing their trash away and we expect them to know what to sort and how to dispose of their items. In world where people are encouraged to recycle as much as possible, the message gets a little muddled. Some do become extra-vigilant with additional education. Others get frustrated and continue to contaminate their recyclables or stop recycling altogether. Introducing sorting robots solves your problems in two ways. Your robots are programmed to sort through countless contaminants to find the right items to sort for recycling. Like we mentioned above, robots can be trained to pick out certain color bags containing recyclables, so your customers don’t have to sort and separate their recycling. Your unstoppable robots will identify and pull them out. It makes it easier on customers and it gets you higher quality materials.

We’re just scratching the surface of problems plaguing the waste industry and you can probably come up with a few of your own problems you need to solve. The message remains the same: incorporating robots resolves some of your problems, improves efficiency, and frees you up to focus on the things you can’t outsource to the robots…yet.

 

5. Sorting-as-a-Service

You’re ready for robots and Unstoppable Sorting, but you’re worried about the investment, right? Afterall, isn’t this kind of technology expensive? It can be – but it doesn’t have to be and most facilities across the globe have the budget to incorporate robotic sorting right now.

You can purchase your robots outright or you can pursue “Sorting-as-a-Service,” which is a capital-free, risk-free, and hassle-free option for you to incorporate robotics into your facility. Think of it like computer software: back in the day, you’d purchase a disk containing the programs you need, install them, and they’d be yours to use…as long as that particular version of the software was still in service. You used to do it annually with your office products, customer relationship management tools, and routing and management software.

Now, however, we pay for subscriptions to software that we then download and for a certain number of users, and any updates that are needed happen automatically. Sorting as a Service is like that: you pay for what you sort based on your goals and the maintenance is included – instead of purchasing the robotic equipment outright and being responsible for that investment and upkeep.

Part of Waste Robotics’ Unstoppable Sorting service is to ensure you are always sorting according to the price per ton that you set when we discuss your goals. If you are able to sort above your benchmark and process more tons per hour, the price per ton paid to the robotics company decreases – which means your profitability increases. If you pushed human workers like that, you’d be faced with overtime costs and potential loss. In addition to maintenance, you’ll want to plan for future training of your robot as the market changes. Sorting-as-a-Service provides a combination of machine learning and network learning. Machine learning enables your robots to identify new products and better understand what you want sorted out and how to discern this from dozens of similar-looking items. This facilitates adaptation to new needs in the market and avoids loss. Network learning is how your robot makes intuitive leaps in sorting. You will want your robots to have global access to knowledge acquired by other robots so that they can learn much faster than if they were sorting in isolation and forced to experience each new variable in real time on their own. This network learning allows you to increase your competitive advantage. Continuous learning allows for the most precise identification of materials so that the robots are constantly adding value to your end products – resolving your quality issues, like we spoke about earlier.

With the Sorting-as-a-Service model, the more you push your robots and scale your sorting, the cheaper your costs are and the more competitive you’ll be without a hefty capital investment to add into your ROI calculations.