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Alberta-made website uses AI to scan your recyclable bottles and estimate worth

May 15, 2019

An Alberta-designed website uses artificial intelligence to estimate how much your beverage containers would earn you at the bottle depot.

An Alberta-designed website uses artificial intelligence to estimate how much your beverage containers would earn you at the bottle depot.

Users can log on to the website with their smartphone or tablet and take a photo of their bags of recycling.

“We take our AI model, analyze how big the bag is,” Phil Perron, the company’s founder, explained. “We’ve had a lot of training of our models. We’ve done a lot of testing with different bags, different contents in the bags.”

“Then, we are actually able to use that learning to give out an accurate estimate based on the picture that’s uploaded,” he said.

Corral also gives you the option of putting your recyclables up for sale to the highest bidder or donate your bottles to a charity.

“The reason why we created Corral was to bring people together on a new technology platform that would make recycling easier for beverage containers. That’s kind of the start of the company. But we have a lot interest from non-profits and from businesses that are looking to leverage what we have and to really make the way they recycle a lot easier than what it is today.”

Perron says Albertans recycle about 86 per cent of all beverage containers. He hopes Corral will improve that rate and also provide options for people who can’t get to the depot — or prefer to offer their bottles up for sale.

“We’re finding that the peer-to-peer is kind of exciting people.”

“There’s a lot of people who want to recycle but they have limitations. Maybe they don’t have a car or they don’t have time to actually go down to the depot as much as they’d want. They use our technology to actually post it for sale or donation and have pick-up service at their house.”

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