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How SuperAnnotate helped Prairie Robotics reduce recycling contamination by 40% and drive a sustainable future

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In the increasingly relevant world of recycling, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly vital, transforming how we tackle waste management challenges. In this pursuit of revolutionizing waste management, Prairie Robotics utilizes artificial intelligence to identify waste contamination at the household level.
This case study shows how SuperAnnotate helped Prairie leverage their AI solution and why this partnership is worthy of attention.

SuperAnnotate is helping Prairie build a top-notch labeled dataset, paving the way for smooth development of further ML lifecycle. This collaboration aims to identify materials harmful to the recycling stream, from black garbage bags to yard waste and everything in between.

In particular, some of the highlights of the Prairie – SuperAnnotate collaboration are:

  • Top-notch labeled dataset: SuperAnnotate’s labeling team provided the fuel to Prairie’s AI solution – high-quality labeled training data.
  • Effective communication and quality project planning: Clear and constant communication with iterative feedback between the client and the annotators’ team.
  • Market expansion in 5x more cities: Prairie expanded their market in 5x more cities solely due to having fundamental data as a base for their AI system.
  • Flexibility compared to other companies: SuperAnnotate stood out from other vendors with its flexibility and dedication from the beginning of the project.


Prairie Robotics had a specific need to create a custom solution that could effectively address recycling contamination at the household level. Finding a suitable software or service provider became a big challenge for Prairie: Many companies in the field had rigid requirements and upfront commitments that didn't align with Prairie Robotics' initial scale and project scope. This lack of flexibility became an obstacle in building a quality dataset that would enable them to develop a solution for their problem. Finding a good collaboration in the annotators’ market that would understand their unique requirements was a big perspective that Prairie was seeking in order to build the solution.

prairie robotics case study

SuperAnnotate as a solution

Now, let’s break down the solution that Prairie has devised for efficient recycling management and understand how it works.

  • Tagging recycling bins: Each recycling bin is tagged to establish a connection between households and their corresponding bins.
  • Capturing bin content: During the garbage collection process, the collection truck captures photographs of the contents in each bin.
  • Machine learning analysis: An ML model analyzes the bin's contents. Its primary objective is to identify any materials that aren’t recyclable, thus potentially contaminating the recycling stream.
  • Providing feedback: Prairie's solution takes action if any contaminating materials are detected. The household responsible for the contaminated bin receives a postcard containing valuable feedback. This feedback includes the image captured by the collection truck, providing visual evidence of the non-recyclable items found in the bin.
superannotate solution for prairie robotics

By following these steps, Prairie's solution ensures efficient recycling practices and educates households about proper recycling habits. This feedback loop helps raise awareness and promotes a cleaner and more effective recycling process.

A crucial aspect of this AI solution is the construction of a robust and precise dataset. Recognizing the significance of high-quality training data as the foundation of any AI system, they partnered with SuperAnnotate for their annotation services.

SuperAnnotate stood out from other vendors by offering a collaborative approach tailored to Prairie Robotics' specific needs, solving the biggest challenge it was facing at the time. The organizations worked together to annotate data collected from Prairie’s Beta Partners. The solid foundation created by working with SuperAnnotate to build a highly performed recycling AI served as the basis for enabling Prairie Robotics to expand their AI capabilities into the identification of organic waste.

Prairie Robotics also appreciates SuperAnnotate for maintaining the quality of their labeling process and enabling immediate feedback to their annotation teams. By leveraging the capabilities of the SuperAnnotate analytics tools, Prairie Robotics could monitor the progress of labeling tasks, ensuring consistency and accuracy throughout the annotation process. This feature empowers Prairie Robotics to uphold high standards and address potential issues promptly, resulting in a more robust and reliable AI system.

The result

Prairie Robotics finds SuperAnnotate’s labeling team the most efficient and easiest in the market to work with -- simple as that.

“When we initially started work in this area, we contacted a number of firms to help us, SuperAnnotate stood out to us at the time as they were willing to work with us on creating a custom project from day one, whereas many of the other companies in this space had rigid requirements and upfront commitments that were well above what our initial scale was. “ - says Sam Dietrich, CEO at Prairie Robotics.

The collaboration between Prairie Robotics and SuperAnnotate yielded remarkable results in their pursuit of tackling recycling contamination and organic waste identification. By utilizing SuperAnnotate's annotation services, Prairie Robotics was able to build a significant and pristine dataset, laying the foundation for its AI system. This dataset played a critical role in achieving a highly robust and performant AI model capable of accurately identifying various materials harmful to the recycling stream at the household level.

The adoption of SuperAnnotate's platform and services had a significant impact on Prairie Robotics' workflow efficiency and productivity. With the SuperAnnotate data curation and analytics tools, Prairie Robotics could monitor and ensure the quality of the labeling process in real-time, providing immediate feedback to annotation teams and maintaining high standards throughout.

Prairie Robotics also values its collaboration with SuperAnnotate due to the dedicated and knowledgeable team that understood their unique challenges and AI use cases. The expertise and support that SuperAnnotate's team provided ensured smooth and successful project execution. Also, the tight feedback loop and coaching with the annotation teams from the very beginning of the project resulted in high-quality data for the entire project duration.

Key takeaways

In conclusion, the partnership between Prairie Robotics and SuperAnnotate produced impressive results. Through the utilization of SuperAnnotate's annotation services, platform features such as the data curation and analytics tools, and the expertise of their team, Prairie Robotics achieved a highly accurate and reliable AI system for recycling contamination detection and organic waste identification.

With its professional team of annotators, effective communication between the client and the team, user-friendly platform, and unique approach to the client’s problems, SuperAnnotate helped Prairie perfect their AI solution and reduce contamination by more than 40%. Through this remarkable collaboration, Prairie Robotics is spearheading a sustainable future where waste management becomes an art of precision and every household contributes to a cleaner planet.

Remember, data is the pillar of any AI project, and landing it in reliable hands is crucial. Be the next AI success story by becoming our customer!

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