Why United States Companies and Researchers Are Interested in Utilizing Robots in the Recycling Industry

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Tech companies are working on robots to make US recycling more efficient.

For decades, the United States and other wealthy countries have been dependent on China to buy and process almost half of the world’s plastic waste. Now, stricter recycling standards in China mean its cheaper for some US cities to simply send recyclables to the dump rather than pay a higher fee to process them. That’s why a number of researchers and tech companies are working on robots to make US recycling more efficient.

The Mobro 4000 was a barge owned by MOBRO Marine, Inc. made infamous in 1987 for hauling the same load of trash along the east coast of North America from New York City to Belize and back until a way was found to dispose of the garbage.

*** Correction *** at 2:06 CNBC described the capacity of the garbage barge Mobro 4000 as 3,000 pounds. The actual capacity is 3,000 tons.

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