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February 13, 2019

RILA teams with Smarter Sorting to cut waste costs

By Beth Wright

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the US trade association for leading retailers, has partnered with startup Smarter Sorting to helps companies make data-driven, automated decisions on unsold, damaged or returned items.

Smarter Sorting’s machine learning platform provides real-time transparency for compliance programmes and helps limit waste costs. It also offers a scanning device that workers can use at household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities to help identify and sort material for donation, reuse or recycling, rather than incineration. The technology can scan a container and show, on screen, how the material is supposed to be sorted and handled as opposed to having to consult a spreadsheet or chart that tells workers what to do with each kind of material.

As part of the partnership, RILA and Smarter Sorting will co-host a summit in the coming year with retailers across the country to collaborate on customised cutting-edge compliance solutions.

“Retailers are committed to making their businesses more sustainable; as such, many are looking to innovative technology that can help make environmental compliance operations more effective and that help them achieve larger company sustainability goals,” says Tiffin Shewmake, RILA vice president and executive director of RILA’s Retail Compliance Center. “We’re enthusiastic about this partnership with Smarter Sorting, which helps retailers do just that, and we look forward to moving the industry forward in this area together.”

The news comes as RILA prepares to hold an annual meeting of retail environmental compliance and sustainability practitioners hosted by the University of Texas at Austin this week, which will include representatives from Smarter Sorting.

The firm’s CEO, Chris Ripley, adds: “As a startup committed to advancing retail sustainability, Smarter Sorting is thrilled to partner with RILA to launch the first-ever Innovation in Action Retail Summit. Our goal is to create a space where retailers can explore new technologies like machine learning to tackle their most vexing compliance problems while advancing their zero waste goals.”

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