Waste management company Bjorstaddalen has opened Norway’s first industrial waste sorting station powered by artificial intelligence (AI) robotic technology

One of Bjorstaddalen's new AI robotic sorting arms Norway’s first industrial waste sorting station powered by artificial intelligence (AI) robotic technology.

Located to the south of Oslo in the municipality of Skien, the full automated station is equipped with robotic arms that can perform up to 6,000 picks per hour.

The standalone processing facility is designed to handle both construction and demolition and commercial and industrial waste and its sorting robots can recover fractions such as A, B and C wood, non-metals, hard plastics, black plastics and inert materials.

Sindre Hauen, executive vice president of Bjorstaddalen, said: “We want to be at the forefront and are constantly looking for better solutions for handling industrial waste. It has long worried us that there is a low degree of material recycling in Norway compared to other countries. We are good at recovering energy in this country, but that only means that waste is incinerated. We want to do something about this.”

The machines were developed and supplied by Finland-based robotics company ZenRobotics. Material processed by the new facility will be recycled at Bjorstaddalen’s existing material recycling facility, which can recycle up to 150,000 t of material per hour.

According to Bjorstaddalen, the new facility will “substantially increase” the amount of material the company can recover. This will help to reduce waste incineration and contribute to a more circular economy.

Sindre Hauen added: “The robots can be trained to identify interesting new fractions. If new markets open up in the future, or there are new demands from the authorities, the robotic plant can be trained to recognise these factions as well.”

The company, which has already signed agreements for a number of customers to use the sorted fractions as raw material, said it was also expanding the capabilities of its new robotic sorting line to accommodate the handling of other types of recycled waste.

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