The Hustle

This recycling robot can’t come to market fast enough

AMP Robotics is looking to raise $70m for its automated recycling technology.


November 25, 2020

Let’s be honest: every single person reading this email has — at least once — looked at the recyclables they had to sort and decided they’d rather just dump it all in the garbage bin.

In fact, according to the EPA, only ~35% of the solid waste generated by Americans is recycled or composted.

Enter AMP Robotics, a recycling robotics company looking to raise $70m. Per TechCrunch, this round follows a $16m raise from last November led by none other than Sequoia.

It’s not just you shirking your recycling responsibilities

For decades, China was the destination for unsorted garbage and recycling of all types. Two years ago, the Middle Kingdom put a kibosh on this waste free-for-all.

This change has put pressure on North American recycling facilities that don’t have the benefit of China’s cheap labor.

The pandemic is a catalyst for automation

Facilities have had difficulty staffing with humans since the COVID crisis took off.

Just a few weeks ago, AMP received its biggest order to date, when the $28B public company Waste Connections bought 24 of the machines.

As TechCrunch notes, recyclers are increasingly turning to AMP’s “combination of computer vision, machine learning and robotic automation” as a way to boost efficiency.

The machines are so precise, they can differentiate between Pepsi and Coke bottles.

We don’t know what black magic AMP is using, but we need it in our kitchen ASAP.

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