Recycling is an essential, if not particularly glamorous, part of the fight against climate change. It is no secret that the world has a serious garbage problem. The United States only generates 292.4 million tons of garbage per year, or 4.9 pounds per person per day. Globally, we produce 380 million tons of plastic per year, half of which goes into single-use products.
Every year, the world turns between 20-50 million metric tons of e-waste and only 12.5% is recycled. Tech gadgets and the clean energy technologies we need to fight climate change rely on critically finite minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese.
Mountains of garbage, unrecycled plastics, and a shortage of minerals needed for the clean energy transition threaten our ability to achieve a more sustainable world. That’s why we’re delighted to have the CEOs of AMP Robotics, Novoloop and Nth Cycle join us on stage at TC Sessions: Weather and The Extreme Tech Challenge 2022 Global Finals on June 14 in Berkeley, California.
AMP’s recycling technology, a combination of computer vision, machine learning, and robotic automation, can classify waste streams in ways that traditional systems cannot, and at a much lower cost than most waste management facilities. . The robots can distinguish between high-density and low-density plastics, sort by color, clarity, opacity, and shapes such as lids, tubs, shells, and cups. In 2021, AMP doubled the number of robotic installations in 25 states, increasing its US fleet to nearly 200.
Founder and CEO Matanya Horowitz earned four bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, and economics, along with a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has a Ph.D. in control and dynamic systems from the California Institute of Technology.
Novoloop, a US-based startup that just raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Envisioning Partners, transforms plastic waste through its patented technology, ATOD (accelerated thermal oxidative decomposition). The company claims that this process breaks down polyethylene (the most widely used plastic today) into chemical building blocks that can be synthesized into high-value products.
Co-founder and CEO Miranda Wang, a venture-backed climate technology entrepreneur, is a Forbes 30 Under 30, UN Young Champion of the Earth, and Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award winner. She received her BA (Business Engineering, Philosophy, Molecular Biology) from UPenn and a Bachelor of Science from McGill University.
Meanwhile, Nth Cycle has developed a unique technology called electroextraction. It enables recyclers and miners to recover critical minerals from discarded batteries, low-grade ores, and mine waste using only electricity and carbon filters. It is an ecological and economical alternative to current pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processes.
Megan O’Connor is an environmental and chemical engineer. She founded Nth Cycle one day after defending her doctoral thesis. She received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University and is a graduate of the second Innovation Crossroads cohort at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
We’re looking forward to this conversation about the ways technology is transforming recycling into a powerful, efficient, and profitable tool to combat climate change. We also want to get a sense of each company’s roadmap and how effectively they can scale for even more growth.
CT Sessions: Climate 2022 it’s about the rising tide of startups, technologies, scientists and engineers dedicated to saving our planet and, of course, the investors who fund them. Join us in person on June 14 at UC Berkley’s Zellerbach Auditorium. Sign up now and save $200.