Sustainability Series: Oscar, the artificially intelligent bin

Posted: 17 May 2019 | | No comments yet

In a bid to engage passengers in their green vision for the airport, Vancouver Airport has introduced Oscar, the bin that directs you where to dispose of your rubbish.

Why is an AI-enabled rubbish bin necessary to reduce waste at YVR?

We’re always looking at innovative ways to divert waste at YVR. We have passengers from around the world come through YVR and we understand that every country can have a different waste-sorting system. That’s where Oscar comes in – the smart waste bin identifies recycling from trash and instructs users on whether it belongs in the containers, compost, paper or landfill stream.

How does it work?

The system includes a 32-inch display screen and an artificial intelligence powered camera. The process is very simple: Users simply walk up to the smart waste bin and put their item in front of the camera. Oscar then instructs users, via the display screen, on whether it belongs in the containers, compost, paper or landfill stream. 

How does Oscar fit in with your other environmental goals?

At YVR, we strive to be a leader in environmental management and as such, we set ambitious targets. Our 2020 target is to divert 50 per cent of YVR waste from landfill. In 2018, YVR recycled and composted 2.4 of 4.8 million kilogrammes of domestic and international terminal building waste, resulting in a 51 per cent diversion rate – one per cent over the 2020 target, for the third year in a row.

Does this technology have any other applications within the airport?

YVR is the first airport to leverage this technology to boost waste management efforts. We currently have three smart waste bins in the terminal. They can be found:

  • Opposite to the A/B Pier Security
  • Opposite to the International Terminal Building Food Court
  • Base of the SkyTrain escalators.

Has this technology been well received by your passengers?

We’re extremely pleased with the feedback we’ve received from passengers. Aiding our passengers with waste sorting through artificial intelligence is an innovative way of improving the airport’s environmental footprint through technology.

The bin instructs passengers where to dispose of their rubbish

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