World’s largest builder of recycling facilities teams up with AI waste analytics leader to make thousands of recycling plants more efficient in response to the growing waste crisis
LONDON, UK & APPINGEDAM, NL – 7 February, 2024 – Bollegraaf, the world's largest builder of recycling plants, has entered into a strategic partnership with Greyparrot, a pioneer in AI waste analytics, to transform global waste management. As part of the agreement, Bollegraaf will transfer its AI vision business to Greyparrot and make a cash investment, for a total value of $12.8M, in Greyparrot, obtaining a non-controlling stake in the company. It will also serve as a worldwide distributor and strategic partner for Greyparrot's Analyzer, which currently provides 100% visibility into waste streams at recycling plants across 14 countries using AI camera systems.
The deal includes Greyparrot acquiring Bollegraaf’s vision-based computing intellectual property (IP) and esteemed AI development team. Greyparrot will also open its first office in mainland Europe in the Netherlands.
With this groundbreaking partnership, both companies aim to retrofit thousands of existing Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Plastics Recovery Facilities (PRFs) with advanced AI capabilities to significantly boost recycling rates and quantify material emissions. The collaboration will bring forth revolutionary smart recycling plants that are fully automated and agile, unlocking new value in waste streams while diverting millions of tonnes of waste away from landfills, oceans, and incinerators. In a development set to transform waste management, this marks a momentous acceleration in the global shift from a linear to a circular economy. Together, Greyparrot and Bollegraaf commit to developing further products that combine the strengths of both companies to make the vision of fully automated and intelligent sorting facilities a reality.
With over a 50% share in the global recycling plant market, providing turnkey recycling solutions, Bollegraaf is well-positioned to provide the physical infrastructure, while Greyparrot's proven ability to embed AI waste analytics into software and hardware systems adds the essential digital layer. In 2023 alone, Greyparrot’s Analyzer helped facilities analyse more than 25 billion waste objects, characterising them into 70+ categories in real-time to reveal seven layers of data, including material type, financial value, brand, and GHG emissions.
By 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.4 billion tonnes of waste annually. With only around 5,500 facilities handling municipal solid waste currently operating worldwide, there is a critical need to build more next-generation plants and retrofit older ones with new technologies – such as AI – to speed up processing times and improve recycling rates to meet the growing tsunami of waste.
Today, only 1% of waste is monitored in facilities, and even in advanced economies, 40% of waste sorting is done by hand. AI, and the data it unlocks in real-time, will help digitise and automate systems to capture a massive amount of lost financial value. For plastic waste in the U.S. alone, lack of visibility and automation contributes to $80B-$120B being lost a year to landfills and incineration. Greyparrot’s Analyzer gives 100% visibility into waste composition to unlock a new, more intelligent level of insight about waste that Greyparrot calls waste intelligence. With automated, real-time waste monitoring and digitised systems powered by AI, the industry can tackle the issue of 'invisible waste' and transform a traditionally labour-intensive process.
With increased data transparency, waste managers can confidently demonstrate regulatory and contractual compliance. This vital waste data on the post-consumption world will foster unprecedented collaboration across the waste value chain and those influencing it, uniting producers, waste managers and regulators to recover and reuse waste materials more sustainably.
“With 63 years of industry experience, Bollegraaf continues to be a global leader in fully-automated innovative turnkey recycling systems. The future is clear: to further increase recycling rates we need more insight and collaboration across the value chain. We have been looking to implement AI that can power fact-based and automated decision making to provide our clients with a much more accurate overview of their waste composition and ultimately maximise their ROI,” said Edmund Tenfelde, CEO of Bollegraaf Recycling Solutions. “We are thrilled to make this strategic investment and partner with Greyparrot to bring waste intelligence to both upcoming recycling infrastructure deployments and existing facilities worldwide. We believe that Bollegraaf's comprehensive knowledge of automation of recycling MRF operations, premium equipment quality, and unique engineering expertise empowered with Greyparrot AI systems represent the one-of-a-kind synergy that is destined for success.”
“In a world drowning in waste, a large percentage of which is recoverable, the urgency for action has never been greater. It’s time for a revolutionary leap in how we value, capture, and manage our waste. We’re excited to partner with Bollegraaf, and add to our team of experts in artificial intelligence and deep learning, to address this challenge and pave the way for the waste industry's largest rollout of AI to date,” said Mikela Druckman, CEO of Greyparrot. “Getting AI waste analytics in the hands of more plant managers, more quickly, will provide the industry the data driven insights needed to build and operate smart MRFs that unlock new value from recovered materials and decrease the environmental impact of waste. Collaboration with plant builders and other key players is critical to making this happen, and it's a major reason why Greyparrot is hardware agnostic, making it possible to integrate our platform with all types of systems. Progress in addressing the waste crisis can only happen if we work together and commit to systemic change driven by waste intelligence.”
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Press kit with image and video assets available here
“Across the world, we need investment in upgrading our waste infrastructure to help drive the circular economy of the future. The partnership between Bollegraaf and Greyparrot will help supercharge the recycling sector, enabling recycling rates to rise thanks to new technology. This shows the importance of harnessing innovative new startups in the sector with strategic investment at critical moments in their development. I am delighted WRAP could play a part in the continuing rise of Greyparrot as a groundbreaking success story.”
“I have always believed that Greyparrot’s innovative technology would one day become the standard for MRF sorting (Material Recovery Facilities). This partnership with Bollegraaf is poised to make this now happen - at an accelerated pace. This is exciting news for our industry as a whole given that this data will also inform organisations on how to tailor their packaging to optimise recycling efficiency.”
Professor Edward Kosior
CEO Nextek and NEXTLOOPP
"The announcement of this major partnership between Greyparrot and Bollegraaf illustrates the strong dynamism of the innovation ecosystem dedicated to the challenges of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). It also demonstrates the mutual benefit of an Open Innovation approach between start-ups and major groups to accelerate the deployment of solutions that help meet French and European targets."
Innovation Director at Citeo
“Closed Loop Partners is proud to be an investor in Greyparrot as they bring their AI-powered waste analytics technology to recycling facilities and advance more efficient, circular materials management. Their partnership with Bollegraaf is a key milestone in strengthening recycling infrastructure and keeping more materials in circulation in North America and beyond,” says Jennifer Louie, Managing Director and Head of the Closed Loop Infrastructure Group at Closed Loop Partners. “Through Bollegraaf’s global footprint, we look forward to the accelerated growth and integration of Greyparrot’s Analyzer units across the North American market.”
Managing Director and Head of the Closed Loop Infrastructure Group at Closed Loop Partners
Below company boilerplates:
Greyparrot (greyparrot.ai), the leader in AI waste analytics, is applying AI to globally scale recycling and save millions of tonnes of waste from landfills and incinerators. By providing deeper, more intelligent insights about waste stream composition and value, Greyparrot is helping the waste sector recover more value from waste processing lines and reduce the environmental impact of waste.
The company’s waste intelligence platform, including Greyparrot Analyzer and Greyparrot Sync (API), reveals real-time insights on over 70 waste categories across seven layers of data, including financial value, brand, and GHG emissions, captured at multiple locations across a recycling facility. In 2023, Greyparrot analysed over 25 billion waste objects helping drive efficiency to save hundreds of thousands, to millions, of dollars per facility – while diverting millions of tonnes of waste away from landfills, oceans, and incinerators.
Using Greyparrot insights, recycling professionals, plant builders, packaging producers, and FMCG brands can make decisions to help them increase recycling efficiency, comply with recycling regulations, and improve recyclable packaging design.
The Bollegraaf Group (bollegraaf.com) is a world-leading expert and innovator in the waste sorting and recycling sector. Bollegraaf’s reputation is based on the unique quality of equipment in terms of separation performance, robustness, and ease of maintenance. A premium quality complemented by the Bollegraaf engineering expertise delivers the best solutions to the specific challenges of each customer. Through continuous and intensive
investment in innovation, Bollegraaf offers state-of-the-art recycling solutions for all types of waste streams, from household waste, paper, and plastics up to construction and demolition.
Bollegraaf was founded in the Netherlands in 1961 and comprises the companies: Bollegraaf Recycling Solutions and Lubo Recycling Solutions. The company also has several subsidiaries in Europe. Van Dyk Recycling Solutions is Bollegraaf’s exclusive distributor that operates a highly successful sales office and holds a strong North American presence from its headquarters in Norwalk, U.S. Bollegraaf’s vision is clear: There is no such thing as waste, only a pool of valuables that need to be sorted, cleaned, and prepared for re-entering a new life cycle.