Bay City to Launch New Program Aimed at Improving Recycling

Bay City is stepping up efforts to ensure residents are putting the right materials in their new recycling bins.

With help from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, The Recycling Partnership, and Saskatchewan-based Prairie Robotics, the city will be launching a 6-month-long program using specialized cameras and machine learning to try and reduce the number of improper items going into the recycling.

Using $59,144 in grant funding from EGLE, Bay City’s collection trucks will have cameras installed that will scan materials as they are dumped into the truck and identify unacceptable items like plastic bags, foam, yard waste, and more. The City says those items will then be flagged and the resident will be mailed or otherwise sent information on proper recycling.

Project organizers say with recycling in Michigan at an all-time high, it’s important to tell people what can and cannot be recycled to avoid injuring workers or damaging sorting equipment at recycling facilities.