Say hello to Oscar Sort, UK Recycling’s new AI-powered, waste-sorting system

University of Kentucky Recycling has a new “helping hand” on campus. Oscar Sort, an artificial intelligence waste-sorting system from Intuitive AI, has been installed on campus to empower better recycling decisions and divert waste from landfills.

Oscar automatically identifies recyclables from waste, by using AI technology to understand the item that a person is trying to dispose of, and instructs users on which waste bins to put them in. For example, if a person is trying to dispose of a plastic cup with a straw, it will instruct the user to recycle the cup, but place the straw in the landfill container. 

Oscar is always updated with the new items now recyclable at UK, through the mixed recyclable stream.

“Oscar is more than a sorting assistant: it’s a fun, interactive resource for students, faculty and staff to receive instant feedback about UK’s mixed recycling stream,” said UK’s Recycling/Waste Reduction Specialist Senior Ryan Lark. “Education will be a vital part in helping UK reach its goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2030, and we’re excited to add Oscar to our roster of educational resources.”

Oscar will provide data to the UK Recycling program on the behavior of the participants that be used to measure changes in recycling practices on campus. UK Recycling plans to use it to provide incentives/rewards to participants to those that recycle properly.

Chelsea Colley

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