Dillon Consulting was retained by Metro Vancouver to study the aptitude of current technological tools at keeping recyclables out of the garbage. We sought to understand the tools available to encourage recycling.

One such tool is an artificial intelligence-assisted in-dumpster smart camera. Each unit is battery-operated and equipped with GPS, LTE connectivity, a flash-enabled camera, and an accelerometer. It takes photos of the dumpster’s contents three times a day, uploads the photos to a cloud, and uses artificial intelligence to analyze the images for banned items and fullness. When the accelerometer is triggered on pickup, the unit records the event and captures a photo of the emptied bin for service confirmation. This data provides users with the insight and information needed to educate clients on problematic materials and optimize collection schedules to reduce GHG emissions and collection costs.

Metro Vancouver piloted 20 artificial intelligence-assisted smart cameras for three months inside the City of Burnaby’s garbage dumpsters. Dillon Consulting performed three sets of visual audits. The visual audits served as the benchmark for sensor evaluation. We then compared the data from both the smart cameras and the visual audits to assess the capabilities and limitations of the technology.

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