CDD-SORT: A Next-Generation System to Detect Hazardous & RecyclableMaterials in Discarded C&D Debris

EPA Contract Number: 68HERD19C0027
Title: CDD-SORT: A Next-Generation System to Detect Hazardous & RecyclableMaterials in Discarded C&D Debris
Investigators: Powell, Jon
Small Business: PTP Strategy, LLC.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: May 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019
Project Amount: $99,995
RFA: Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) PHASE I (2018) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Phase 1 (2019) , SBIR – Sustainable Materials Management


The Construction and Demolition Debris Support Vector Machine Optical Recycling Technology (CDD-SORT) is our proposed system that detects hazardous, problematic, and recyclable components in the 150+ million tons construction and demolition (C&D) debris discarded annually at US landfills and recycling facilities. Our system and technology leverage a combination of emerging computer vision techniques, machine leaning algorithms, and deep subject matter expertise. CDD-SORT will increase by multiple orders of magnitude the amount of available waste characterization data and performs comparably to current human-centered visual waste characterization approaches. We are targeting the approximately 2,000 operation C&D disposal and recycling facilities as end users and estimate and addressable US market opportunity of more than $60 million annually - customer discovery efforts to date show a strong willingness to pay from our targeted end users. Deploying CDD-SORT will foster a more circular economy through the increased recovery of valuable recyclable materials, in addition to enhancing the removal of hazardous or problematic materials in the waste stream. These outcomes are expected to result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions across construction material life cycles, in addition to mitigating the build-up of toxics in the environment.

Publications and Presentations:

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Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report