Because many processing facilities can't quickly identify the chemicals in this household waste, the items are often simply lumped together and incinerated – which is expensive. Their start-up, Smarter Sorting, has installed a barcode scanning system at four waste disposal sites in the US used by the public – in Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Portland, Oregon; and Mesa County, Colorado. "The machine goes'beep' and at that point the screen simply tells the worker, 'this is where you should place this item'," says Chris Ripley, who co-founded Smarter Sorting together with Charlie Vallely. Also testing the technology is Hope Petrie, hazardous materials manager at Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, although she isn't yet using it to alter the way large numbers of items are processed.
Software as a service platform Jodone's latest design makes sorting recyclables from trash faster, more efficient and ultimately, more profitable. Made for use with industry standard robots from multiple suppliers, the interface turns the acts of recognizing and categorizing recyclables into a game. As waste travels along a conveyer belt, workers swipe a touch screen to classify items as recyclable. As environmental standards rise and governments get tougher on industries and their waste management processes, Jodone sees gamification as key to both cost saving and improved working conditions.