Using AI in municipal waste management

The City of Leduc recently completed a pilot program using artificial intelligence (AI) to help sort its municipal waste.

Launched in June 2023, the program was intended to increase residents’ knowledge of sorting their waste and help ensure waste is properly diverted from landfills to prolong the life of the landfill, decrease environmental pollution, and reduce operation costs.

Special AI cameras were installed on garbage trucks. Once that was done, the program worked as follows:

  • As green cart waste (organics) was tipped into the collection truck, the AI system scanned the waste for contaminants
  • If the system detected a contaminant, a photo was taken of the item and associated with a specific household using GPS data
  • A postcard with the image was sent to the household, along with information about what can go in the green cart.

Residents also had the option to download an app to receive personalized collection schedules, among other reminders pertaining to sorting waste.

The City of Leduc’s waste contamination rate tends to be around 20 per cent, with the goal of achieving 10 per cent.

This pilot program was completed in partnership with TELUS and Prairie Robotics.

For more information, please contact danb [at] (Dan Blackburn), Senior Director of Growth & Innovation.