Groundbreaking project

Data firm Topolytics secures deal monitoring ‘waste crime’

On track: Alastair Hanlon of PragmatIC and Dr Michael Groves

Data analytics business Topolytics has won a £500,000 contract to build the UK’s first digital waste tracking system that will help improve monitoring, particularly of “waste crime”.

Recent studies shows a lack of digital record-keeping in the waste industry which is frequently exploited by organised criminals as it provides opportunities to hide evidence of the systematic mis-handling of waste.

Michael Groves, founder and CEO of the Edinburgh-based firm said: “This is a truly ground-breaking project and one that we are proud to be working on.  It will transform waste regulation and the industry in the UK and has significant international potential.

“It further validates our use of machine learning, mapping, sensor systems and cutting-edge software to enable the waste industry to maximise the utility of materials and enable the circular economy.”

The contract is administered by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs under the UK GovTech Catalyst programme.

Topolytics is working with PragmatIC which will be deploying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) labels to track the movement of waste, such as used tyres, a significant waste stream and focus of waste crime.

The waste tracking project forms part of the landmark Environment Bill, which embodies the Government’s ambition to move towards a circular waste economy.

Measures also include extended producer responsibility, new charges for other single-use plastic items, and clear product labelling to help consumers make purchasing decisions that support the market for more sustainable products.

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