Garbage detection and classification using a new deep learning-based machine vision system as a tool for sustainable waste recycling

Shoufeng Jin, Zixuan Yang, Grzegorz Królczykg, Xinying Liu, Paolo Gardoni, Zhixiong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Waste recycling is a critical issue for environment pollution management while garbage classification determines the recycling efficiency. In order to reduce labor costs and increase garbage classification capacity, a machine vision system is established based on the deep learning and transfer learning. In this new method, an improved MobileNetV2 deep learning model is proposed for garbage detection and classification, where the attention mechanism is introduced into the first and last convolution layers of the MobileNetV2 model to improve the recognition accuracy and the transfer learning uses a set of pre-trained weight parameters to extend the model generalization ability. In addition, the principal component analysis (PCA) is employed to reduce the dimension of the last fully connected layer to enable real-time operation of the developed model on an edge device. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method generates 90.7 % of the garbage classification accuracy on the “Huawei Cloud” datasets, the average inference time is 600 ms on the raspberry Pi 4B microprocessor, and the model volume compression is 30.1 % of the basic MobileNetV2 model. Furthermore, a garbage sorting porotype is designed and manufactured to evaluate the performance of the proposed MobileNetV2 model on the real-world garbage identification, which turns out that the average garbage classification accuracy is 89.26 %. Hence, the developed garbage sorting porotype can be used a effective tool for sustainable waste recycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
StatePublished - May 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep learning
  • Garbage classification
  • Machine vision
  • Waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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