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SEA Debuts AI Waste-Sorting Technology

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has launched Oscar, a new AI-driven waste-sorting technology that will help travelers sort their waste items into compost, recycling and trach bins while in the terminal.

The Oscars, from Intuitive AI, are designed to fit existing waste bins. When users walk up to the machine, they place the item in front of a camera to analyze—then Oscar tells them which bin to deposit the item in. The four Oscars at SEA are designed to educate passengers on proper waste sorting, while improving recycling and composting diversion from landfills.

Since their deployment last month, the use of Oscars has led to 43 percent successful sorting, higher than many of the other airport trash bins. SEA officials note Oscar is still learning and becoming smarter to provide more accurate guidance.

“The Port of Seattle strives to reduce waste to landfills and we’re trying innovations like Oscar to build awareness among our customers and gather data on the types of waste we see at SEA,” said Sandra Kilroy, senior director-environment and sustainability, for the Port of Seattle, which operates SEA. “We know that individuals come to our gateways from all around the world and they might have different waste bins or rules, so Oscar will help inform them on how to sort here. At SEA, it supports our goal to divert 60 percent of terminal waste from landfills.”