LRS, an independent waste diversion and recycling provider, has partnered with climate tech company EverestLabs to enhance aluminium can recovery.  

The collaboration, supported by funding from Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) members Ardagh Metal Packaging and Crown Holdings, has led to the installation of EverestLabs’ RecycleOS material sorting robot at LRS’ new materials recovery facility (MRF), The Exchange.  

The move aims to optimise revenue and ensure the efficient recovery and recycling of used beverage cans (UBCs). 

The EverestLabs robot is set to bolster LRS’ quality control, managing more than 350,000lb of recycled aluminium monthly at The Exchange.  

This translates to roughly 12 million aluminium beverage cans.  

The initiative is part of CMI’s ongoing efforts to demonstrate the financial benefits of capturing missorted UBCs and to encourage the installation of more can capture equipment in MRFs. 

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CMI’s 2020 research highlighted that up to 25% of UBCs entering MRFs might be missorted, leading to significant material loss.  

The partnership with LRS builds on a previous collaboration between CMI, EverestLabs, and Caglia Environmental and has seen more than 1,500 additional UBCs captured daily since the robot’s installation at a Caglia MRF. 

CMI sustainability senior vice-president Scott Breen said: “With both robot lease agreements that include a revenue share, CMI is able to leverage that UBCs are consistently one of the most valuable recyclable commodities. 

“CMI is receiving a portion of all revenue generated from the cans collected by the robot and then using those funds for even more can-capture equipment in MRFs.” 

LRS’ The Exchange is capable of accepting up to 1,200 tonnes (t) per day of municipal solid waste (MSW) and currently processes 25t of recyclables per hour.  

The facility, which opened in August last year, houses a transfer station and a single-stream sorting line, with provisions for future expansion.  

It accepts single-stream recyclables, non-hazardous and non-special MSW, and various other recyclables. 

EverestLabs founder and CEO JD Ambati said: “The Exchange in Chicago is our second project with CMI, and we have been behind their mission to significantly increase the amount of UBCs recycled.”