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Half-empty or half-full? A Hybrid Approach to Predict Recycling Behavior of Consumers to Increase Reverse Vending Machine Uptime

03/30/2020
by   Jannis Walk, et al.
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Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) are a proven instrument for facilitating closed-loop plastic packaging recycling. A good customer experience at the RVM is crucial for a further proliferation of this technology. Bin full events are the major reason for Reverse Vending Machine (RVM) downtime at the world leader in the RVM market. The paper at hand develops and evaluates an approach based on machine learning and statistical approximation to foresee bin full events and, thus increase uptime of RVMs. Our approach relies on forecasting the hourly time series of returned beverage containers at a given RVM. We contribute by developing and evaluating an approach for hourly forecasts in a retail setting - this combination of application domain and forecast granularity is novel. A trace-driven simulation confirms that the forecasting-based approach leads to less downtime and costs than naive emptying strategies.

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