The Future of Recycling at the Human-Robot Interface

Short Overview:

This workshop brings a unique group of experts joining from numerous fields and organizations to explore the potential of U.S. recycling and the changing roles of the technology and people within it.   Outcomes from the workshop include establishing a long-lasting platform that allows communication among experts focusing on different aspects of this multidimensional problem, and formulating research questions that will be more informed and relevant about the state of the recycling industry and therefore more useful to addressing its most prominent issues.


The Monday lecture  is open to the public.  The remainder of the workshop is by invitation.

Workshop Schedule:

Monday, February 17, 2020


Opening session- “Beyond Dull, Dirty and Dangerous’: Humans and Robots in the Recycling Industry of the Future”,

Key speaker- Matanya Horowitz, Founder and CEO, AMP Robotics

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Welcome Coffee and Continental Breakfast

Introduction to the Project and Workshop Goals

NSF Robotics and Recycling Grant: Berk Calli, WPI; Aaron Dollar, Yale  Workshop: Marian Chertow, Yale

Current Status and Future of the Waste Stream

Jon Powell, CEO, PTP Informatics; Barbara Reck, Yale  Response by Robert Heffernan, OWaste

The Business of Robots and MRFs

Matanya Horowitz, AMP Robotics  Eric Camirand, Waste Robotics  Paul Degnan, Casella  Response by Aaron Dollar, Yale  Group Discussion


Designing MRFs for Human Workforce Outcomes: How Should the  Interdependent Roles of Humans and Robots be Organized to Maintain, and  Ideally Improve, Job Desirability, Worker Health, and Worker Motivation?

Brian Scassellati, Yale

Miriam Holsinger, Eureka Recycling

Brian Linde, Yale

Response by Yuna Cho, Yale

Regulatory and Business Strategies for Optimizing Recycling

Robert Klee, Former Commissioner, CT Department of Energy and Environment   David Wagger, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)  Ryan Nordt, Waste Management, Inc.

Group Discussion

Break‐out by Specialization (each join one session):  a. Robot Design and Manipulation – facilitators Berk Calli, WPI; Aaron Dollar,  Yale  b. Training People and Robots – facilitators Brian Scassellati, Yale; Jacob  Whitehill, WPI   c. Reconfiguring Recycling to Increase Job Options – facilitators Marian  Chertow, Yale; Liddy Karter, Mizzen Capital

Report from the 3 breakout groups and wrap‐up discussion

Berk Calli, WPI and Marian Chertow, Yale