Case Study

ESA – Google AI

Matthew Penton at Appsbroker wearing purple branded lanyard

Written by Matthew Penton
Head of Data & Analytics

Year published: 2023

About The Customer

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) is the trade body representing the UK’s resource and waste management industry. ESA members are part of a complex chain of activities that deliver quality secondary materials for new, sustainable, products, renewable energy and fuel supplies. They are 85% of the sector, including all the major companies.

Our Role

Google selected Appsbroker to engage with ESA and European Metal Recycling (EMR) to address the issue of potentially hazardous objects, containing lithium-ion batteries, being disposed of at waste recycling centres that can lead to very costly fires.

The Challenge

Lithium-ion batteries, when damaged in the waste management process, can catch fire, disrupting ops, posing health risks & financial implications. ESA wanted an industry-wide, collaborative cloud solution that could continue to safely detect items at the earliest stage of integration into the waste management process to reduce potential risks, limit insurance cost rises and improve efficiency.

The Solution

Appsbroker delivered a Proof of Concept in just seven weeks, manually-annotating images from CCTV recordings at waste collection sites using Vertex AI. Advanced, deep learning techniques helped train object detection models with a precision rate of up to 69%. This rapid delivery of a working solution highlights how Google Cloud technology optimises workflows and drives actionable insights.


Google AI and ML can collate, manage and report on data to transform risk management with ops improvements and better safety measures in the supply chain to mitigate risks and prevent costly fire incidents from Li-ion batteries in objects like e-scooters, power tools, and e-bicycles. This also promotes sustainability and responsible waste management practices in the community.

For more case studies, click here