The UK uses artificial intelligence to fix garbage throwers on the ground

The UK uses artificial intelligence to fix garbage throwers on the ground

An artificial intelligence system is expected to help officials in the UK city of Medstone identify drivers throwing garbage on the floor out of a car window. The project was approved by the city council and implemented in early March.

The technique was baptized as “littercam”, meaning garbage camera, and is a penalty on a litter box, where the word can be replaced with a camera. The cameras are high-resolution and even allow small objects such as cigarette butts to be detected.


When the system notices that something has been thrown on the floor of the car window, it is quickly surrounded by a red circle. Shortly thereafter, a picture of the license plate was captured. After that, filming is certified by a team of traffic agents that, if the violation is proven, the driver is fined and receives notification via mail.

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Fines are very high, starting at 90 pounds (R $ 710.47) and can reach 120 pounds (R $ 947.30) in case of late payment. In this first moment, litterbirds only catch drivers who throw garbage on the ground, and it is not possible to notify pedestrians through facial recognition.

Other cities also want

In the first month, according to officials responsible for the city’s waste collection, the amount of waste collected in Medstone increased by about 250%. This prompted other English municipalities to adopt the idea, as in Sheffield in the south of England.

The city’s city council, which is the sixth largest in the United Kingdom, is in advanced negotiations with the company responsible for developing the system. First, the technology will be installed in only a few parking lots and as a pilot of sorts in the city.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

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