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Recycling now comes with a reward thanks to artificial intelligence

The combination of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) has made recycling of glass and plastic containers more effective.

Valoriza Medioambiente has decided to apply Candam Technologies’ RecySmart technology to the new containers installed in Guadalajara, Spain, in collaboration with the City Council.

The IoT device installed in the new containers is capable of characterizing and recognizing all types of packaging waste in real-time (plastic, metal, bricks, and glass) through acoustic techniques combined with artificial intelligence. 

This device is adaptable to all types of garbage cans, fully customizable, resistant to adverse conditions, and anti-vandalism.

Thanks to the economic support obtained from the European Commission's Life Programme to promote the circular economy, 500 containers with this technology will be installed in Guadalajara under the project name Cents4Pack. 200 devices will go for the yellow fraction and 300 for the glass fraction.



Cents4Pack is based on incentive rewards for citizens who recycle correctly. Citizens who recycle correctly will accumulate points on a card or mobile application that they can later exchange for rewards in local stores, discounts on sports facilities, or cultural activities. 

Users only need to pass the card or mobile device through the container reader, and when recognized, they can deposit the waste, and at the end, the system will transfer the corresponding recycling points to their account.

The aim is to increase the recycling ratio of the city of Guadalajara by up to 15%, both in packaging and glass. Guadalajara is below the national average in recycling, five points below in the yellow fraction, and eight points below the average in glass.

The pilot project will begin with schools in the city, primarily in primary schools, where 6,100 cards will be distributed among the students. The school and the class that recycle the most will be rewarded, and later in September of this year, this project will be rolled out to all streets in the city.



Caption: from left to right: De izda a derecha: Antonio Gutierrez, General manager of Valoriza Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha, Ana Benavent, Technical director at Valoriza; Carlos del Corte, head of business at Candam Technologies Spain; Jaime Sanz Tejedor, Councilman for urban and environmental planning of Guadalajara City Council and Rafael Pérez Borda, Deputy mayor at Guadalajara City Council.

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