Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) continues to increase in number, type and complexity. This creates different circular challenges and opportunities for recovery and recycling centres. Both extending product life and improving recycling are of great ecological importance.
With the SmartRe project, KULeuven wants to offer solutions for these challenges by means of innovative and technological developments such as intelligent vision systems.
For example, we developed SmartRe, a web application that uses text recognition to analyse a photo of the product label of a device and compares it with a database of product information, thus identifying the product model. With the app, employees at a recovery or recycling centre can easily identify a device via a mobile phone or tablet and immediately request specific product or recovery information. Adding information to the database is also possible.
We had our app tested extensively by De Kringwinkel recovery centres in Tienen and Vilvoorde. For five months, information was collected from washing machines in need of repair, while at the Galloo recycling company in Menen, photos were taken of washing machines in need of recycling.
KU Leuven (vertegenwoordigd door KU Leuven Research & Development en optredend voor Sustainable Engineering Research group)
Partners KOMOSIE, Kringwinkel Televil
We want to make the app more accessible to and test it with a wider audience of voluntary repairers. We also want to explore how customers can use the app to repair something themselves.
Furthermore, we are exploring possible partnerships with other recycling shops and repair and recycling companies. In addition, we want to expand the app for a wider variety of electrical and electronic appliances, and explore the possibilities of integrating SmartRe into existing registration systems.