THREE-RIVERS — In a few years, Quebec municipalities will have to find an alternative to landfilling of organic materials of their citizens. In this sense, the addition of the famous brown bin, a third after the waste tray and the tray recovery, seems inevitable. Unless…
Precisely, the company’s Waste Robotics designs, manufactures and sells intelligent systems dedicated to the sorting of residual materials that will lay the brown bin… in the bin. Because its leaders were able to propose a robot able to sort the compostable materials in the waste tray.
“The target market includes the sorting of the bags of organic material, construction materials, and demolition, and recyclable materials,” says the vice-president, business Development, Michel Laforest. “We have a team that has over 125 years of relevant experience in programming, robotics, management of residual materials, and design,” says he.
Designed to be installed at the entrance to the sorting centres, the robot has the size of an SUV, and overlooks a conveyor serving to convey the waste in the factory. Passing under the machine, the product of the company is equipped with cameras that analyze what is on the conveyor and separates the various elements.
“A lot of municipalities opt for the brown bin to collect organic materials. However, it requires more trucks to make the collection as well as a big investment to buy them. With our system, we place ourselves as an alternative that can save an enormous amount of money to municipalities”, explained Eric Camirand, director of technology at Waste Robotics, at the launch of the first version of the robot in August 2017.
As well, municipalities who wish to bring such a system will not have to ask citizens to deal with a third tray. However, the green bags compostable are necessary to enable the cameras to identify the organic materials. The citizens will therefore have to place their rubbish in the bag before throwing it in the trash traditional black.
Even though several municipalities have stopped their choice on the brown bin, Mr. Camirand ensures that the prospects of growth are good for the company. After only a year of existence, a machine has already been sold to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
And just recently, the mayor of Trois-Rivières, Yves Lévesque, a desire to see the Régie de gestion des matières résiduelles de la Mauricie explore this avenue.
The chief magistrate has already indicated that with the technology of Waste Robotics, “put your compostable materials in a special bag that you can place in the waste container”. “The waste tray may take our compostable materials since they are already inside now”, he pleaded in an interview given to the Nouvelliste.
And the mayor Lévesque considers that the robotic solution is much less polluting and less expensive in the long term. It would, according to him, the creation of a third collection circuit. “The avoided costs are enormous,” believes Michel Laforest.
In the fall of 2017, the Program showcases the technology put in place by the City of Québec has allowed Waste Robotics to test its robot demonstration installed in the incinerator of Quebec.
Lately, Innovation and economic development Trois-Rivières has been granted a loan of $ 150,000 to the company from the local investment Fund. It is a help to the commercialization phase of the product of Waste Robotics and the continuous improvement of the technology, the product with international potential.
While the head office is located in Quebec city, the team of Waste Robotics has thought good to choose Three-Rivers as the place of production.
If the technology is used to separate organic materials from other waste, the sorting possibilities become virtually endless with a new version of the machine.
“This is not the robot that changes is the software that makes it work that fits. We can play with the settings to make it recognize all kinds of waste and replace the manual sorting complete. The possibilities are unimaginable”, a-t-concluded.
Waste Robotics in figures
Percentage of quebec-owned
Years of experience of the team
Year of foundation