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Sidewalk Labs launches recycling pilot in Toronto

The Clean Recycling Pilot aims to study how well building residents respond to feedback about changing their apartment building’s waste sorting behaviours.

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Toronto is targeting a 65 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
Toronto is targeting a 65 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

Alphabet-owned Google sibling Sidewalk Labs is launching a recycling pilot scheme to help apartment residents in Toronto improve their waste and recycling habits.

 

Toronto is targeting a 65 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and as part of that goal, the city is aiming to divert 70 per cent of recyclables and organics from landfill by 2026.

 

Recycle and compost

 

Almost half of Toronto residents live in apartments, condos and co-ops and they only recycle and compost 28 per cent of their waste, according to Sidewalk Labs.

 

The Clean Recycling Pilot aims to study how well building residents respond to feedback about changing their building’s waste-sorting behaviours.

 

The twin goals of the pilot are helping people to recognise the complicated dos and don’ts of correct sorting and ultimately improving their recycling practices.

 

Residents of a Toronto apartment building will receive bi-weekly feedback and tips about how to improve recycling habits, over the course of three months. Feedback on recycling will be shared through email, an online portal and signage throughout the building.

 

The Clean Recycling Pilot is a partnership between Sidewalk Labs, Canada Fibers (a materials recovery facility), AMP Robotics and a building developer in Toronto.

 

Residents of a Toronto apartment building will receive bi-weekly feedback and tips about how to improve recycling habits, over the course of three months.

 

To respect the privacy of residents, the name or location of the building or its developer will not be publicised. There is also an option for residents to opt out of the pilot.

 

The pilot will see building waste collected by a haulage company and brought to the Canada Fibers materials recovery facility. The waste is placed along a conveyor belt, where an employee manually sorts, categorises and records waste type and weights.

 

Sidewalk Labs has also installed an AMP Robotics computer vision system on the conveyor belt to help identify materials and contamination.

 

Privacy

 

The non-personal, aggregate data about the waste recorded by the materials recovery facility and AMP will be shared with Sidewalk Labs, residents in the buildings and building owners.

 

Once the pilot is complete, Sidewalk Labs will share a report with the public using the same aggregate and non-identifying data.

 

The pilot conforms to the protocol used by the city of Toronto for its existing waste characterisation studies, with the goal of ensuring that no waste could be identifiable to an individual.

 

It has also undergone Sidewalk Labs’ responsible data use assessment (RDUA) process.

 

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