SARASOTA, Fla. — A recycling facility in Sarasota announced Thursday the introduction of Florida’s first recycling robot.

The Single Stream Recyclers robot uses artificial intelligence to identify, grab and sort items from the recycling stream. The spider-like arms can grab food and beverage cartons.

“We are excited to add this innovative technology to make sure we capture as many food and beverage cartons as possible to prevent them from ending up in landfills,’’ said John Hansen, co-owner of Single Stream Recyclers, which opened its Sarasota location in March 2018.

The robot is developed by Denver-based AMP Robotics. It uses advanced computer vision and machine learning to recognize different colors, textures, shapes, sizes and patterns that identify food and beverage cartons in the recycling stream.

“It’s more important than ever to sort out the most valuable materials,” Hansen said. “Employing this robot will be another step toward making recycling more effective, while also reducing the amount of waste that goes to our landfills or worse, ends up as litter.”

In 2017, the Carton Council teamed up with AMP Robotics to pilot the nation’s first recycling robot at a facility in Denver.

A grant from the Carton Council of North America made the installation of the robot possible at the Single Stream Recyclers facility in Sarasota.

Food and beverage carton recycling is available in more than 62 percent of U.S. households.

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