Advanced C&D processing line operational at Zanker

A new advanced waste sorting facility, equipped with four ZenRobotics Heavy Picker robot arms, is now operational at Zanker Recycling in San Jose, California. Zanker is a leader in advanced recycling in the Bay Area. With the new robotic processing line, Zanker Recycling will increase both waste recovery rates and overall processing capacity.

“The advantage of deploying AI robotics to recycling differentiates Zanker from our competitors,” says Michael Gross, Director of Sustainability at Zanker Recycling. “Reaching our diversion goals is extremely important to us,” he concludes.

To reach its diversion goals, Zanker chose ZenRobotics’ US dealer Plexus Recycling Technologies as their partner in realizing an advanced waste processing facility that incorporates ZenRobotics’ AI-powered waste sorting robots for improved sorting efficiency.

Material feeding is highly automated throughout the process in order to maximize efficiency. The front end operates 50% of the time to process the inbound material during the opening hours. In the middle of the process there are two large dosing bunkers that can store up to 100 tons of material. ZenRobotics’ AI software, ZenBrain, controls these along with all equipment downstream to allow a very smooth-running operation focused on maximum recovery and efficiency.

The fantastic four: Clean-up Carl, Magneto, Snatcher and Thrasher ready to work 20 hours/day

Students from the nearby Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley, located in Alviso, participated in the naming of Zanker’s four new AI-powered robots. The winning naming entries were Clean-up Carl, Magneto, Snatcher and Thrasher. The robots operate 20 hours per day with total system production of 150,000 tons per year, increasing diversion of recyclables by 20%.

The ZenRobotics Heavy Pickers will do the heavy lifting on the bulky material sort line. Each of the four arms will be picking 2,000 picks/hour, sorting objects weighing up to 30 kg (66 lbs).

“We’re excited to see ZenRobotics Heavy Pickers at work in this advanced facility. The growth potential on the US market is substantial. Robots are ideal for long operating hours and designed to increase process efficiency,” says Rainer Rehn from ZenRobotics.


Read more: Executive Q&A Michael Gross in Construction & Demolition Recycling Magazine


About Zanker Recycling

San Jose-based Zanker Recycling, owned by Zanker Road Resource Management Ltd., is a privately owned solid waste and recycling company that began operations in 1985 by developing a landfill into a full-service resource management and composting/recycling facility. In 1998, Zanker expanded operations by permitting an adjacent landfill site as a construction and demolition debris processing facility. These two facilities process more than 2,600 tons of mixed debris per day. Currently, Zanker operates four nationally recognized recycling facilities. The Zanker facilities are national leaders in construction of demolition debris diversion and composting. Through its aggressive and innovative recycling efforts, Zanker diverts more than 80 percent of waste they receive from landfilling.

About Plexus Recycling Technologies

Denver-based Plexus Recycling Technologies, owned by M-L Environmental, LLC, is changing the face of the environmental solutions industry by combining years of experience with advanced sorting technologies that solve entrenched problems. As the premier C & D recycling systems provider in North America, the globally sourced, high-end and highly efficient solutions are delivered with a customer-centric approach that helps them prepare for the future of recycling.