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Why We Started Gaea to Help Recyclers

Fred Fooks

Fred Fooks

CTO of Gaea

Posted on 13th December 2023


Advanced recyclers such as battery recyclers are missing data crucial for decision-making. This is because parts of their operations still need to be digitalised to capture the right information at the right time. The absence of digitalisation in operations is preventing the capture of essential information when needed, and the implications are far-reaching.

The operations for most advanced recyclers are characterised by:

  • Multi-stage processes
  • Diverse inputs
  • A focus on high-quality output material

There is an unfathomable amount of information to be tracked.

Our starting point for Gaea

My co-founder, George, and I founded Gaea to transform recycling operations and drive the circular economy forward. We knew this mission was not possible without giving recyclers the data and information they need to run effective operations.

Drawing from my experience in diverse industries such as Automotive, Manufacturing, Retail, and Grocery gave me valuable insights and a blueprint for implementing digital decision-making. These industries use verticalised systems, managing everything from the construction of a car to online grocery item picking, a stark contrast to the outmoded technology that is available today in advanced recycling.

In recycling, we found that operations are being held back by;

  1. Systems not designed for site workers to easily input data as part of their job.
  2. Generic systems lacking the correct data structure to collect specific material data about recycling streams.
  3. The combination of these two things makes it very difficult to collect the right information to run an effective operation.

The hidden cost of outdated systems in recycling

Currently, recyclers solve this data problem using a combination of spreadsheets and legacy ERP systems not flexible enough for the complexity of advanced recycling decision-making.

I worked across many of these ERP systems in most major industries and they do an amazing job at bringing conformity to enterprises. They act as the plumbing to connect a wide range of business functions (Finance to HR, HR to Workforce management, Procurement to Inventory, Inventory to Sales etc. etc.).

The challenge with using ERP systems for advanced recycling is that they do not cover the industry-specific requirements and the changing nature of the recycling process for different inputs.

This is why recyclers are left overburdened with spreadsheets or contracting fees that spiral to fill these gaps in data.

Gaea is here to change that.

P.S. If you work in the recycling industry, we think your time is far more valuable than inputting data into a spreadsheet. Want to chat about how we can make your job easier? Follow the link below.

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