Recycleye’s CTO, Peter Hedley, sat down with UK Tech News to delve further into how Recycleye emerged from a garage start-up to a novel technology company transforming waste industries across the EU.

From Start-up to Scale-up

Founded by Peter Hedley and Victor Dewulf, Recycleye has a founding story that sounds so clichéd it’s hard to believe it is true. But its parents’ garage origin story belies a world-changing product that has attracted significant funding and the interest of major partners.

Driving around the streets of Poole to collect household waste for a conveyor made from a cheap treadmill they purchased from eBay and ran it over the treadmill to refine their product. Despite the less than glamorous testing situation, the pair had some significant partnerships in place. As well as conducting paid pilots with the waste industry, they have partnered with their old university — Imperial College — as well as Microsoft and Netherland’s Delft University to develop their AI and machine learning.

The system’s AI identifies waste types, even down to brand, from the moving conveyor, allowing operators to have constant data on the purity of the streams. This allows Recycleye’s camera to collect and analyse images and know exactly what is being processed. Recycleye now owns an exclusive library of over 2 million images from their machine learning and training.

There’s always been a lag, where it takes some time for the industry to pick up on the latest improvement in academia. Through our partnership with Imperial, we are closing that gap, and have the newest capabilities and systems within our pipeline.

Peter HedleyCTO at Recycleye

Plans for the future

With a team of 14 technologists and creatives, and having moved on from an eBay treadmill, Hedley and Dewulf see their next step as developing their commercial and operational capacity to bring the product to market, and they are considering a funding round later this year to start that process. Hedley said, “we are at the stage where we have a market-ready product. We have ten customers and are getting new orders, so can see the client demand. So now we’ve got that, how do we scale it? Given their ‘competition’ is an ongoing headache of staff recruitment for jobs that no one really wants to be punctuated with tedious manual waste audits, it appears they may have written another story in which a garage startup changes the world.

Read the full article on the UK Tech News website here

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