This machine provides for an AI-enabled, waste-sorting process

The waste management system can autonomously work to transform waste into materials that can be used for other purposes.

Italian Daniele Pes is the main person behind Grycle, the fancy machine that aims to help solve the issue of waste. Together with a few colleagues, he came up with a solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to do this, all while transforming waste into raw materials.

Grycle is a waste management system that uses AI to manage multiple materials at the same time, recognizing and separating them all in one step. For instance, a plastic bottle will be separated into three different parts — the body of the bottle, the cap and the label — and treated accordingly. The software running Grycle will recognize and sort each of these automatically.

The process starts by shredding all the materials, after which the small parts are put through an electromechanical filter to separate the different components. Then, the spectrometer kicks in, analyzing these small components before depositing them into a bin containing only one type of material. From there, each material is processed into a composite pellet that can easily be reused by different industries to make new materials.

The best part is that the machine itself is powered by solar power (PV) and is compact enough to be portable.

“Grycle is special because in recent years there has been an increased awareness of the need for a radical change in the human relationship with the environment on a global scale,” Daniele Pes explained. “However, where everyone was talking about the problem, Grycle has been perceived as a sustainable solution, enabling a change in dramatically reducing human impact. The difference between talking about something and actually doing something is too wide, and we realized that, and did something about it.”

Over 2.1 billion tons of unsorted waste is produced globally every year, and by 2050 it is estimated there will be a 70% increase in this global waste mountain. Even worse is the fact that treating solid waste produces 1.6 billion tons of CO2 each year, representing one-fifth of global emissions. Machines like Grycle could help make a dent.

As of January 2022, the project is still in the prototype stage and the company is looking for investors to help scale up and enter the mainstream market.


Grycle uses AI to automatically separate waste and reduce the volume of waste by over 90% — while allowing it to be easily transported and transformed into secondary raw materials. As such, it could help in creating a circular economy for many products and raw materials.

The machine itself is also eco-friendly, getting its power from PV panels, and is also compact enough to be portable.
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Action point

At the time you're reading this, Grycle may have been put into production and nothing stops you from contacting the company to explore the option of buying one of these machines. By placing one of them in the City Hall and/or other building(s) where people gather, you get to show that your municipality takes good care of the environment — while promoting the use of novel technologies. That's a powerful combo which could help your community and, ultimately, your own career.

At the time you're reading this, Grycle may have been put into production and nothing stops you from contacting the company to explore the option of offering their machines to the cities and towns your business serves. Beyond local governments, Grycle could also be offered to other major companies in your area, presuming they want to get some solid green credentials. It's a novel machine that could help spur the circular economy and in that sense shouldn't be a hard sell. Or so we think.