Digitalisation is changing the way we live, engage and work. When it comes to smart waste management, digitalisation has enabled huge innovations across the whole industry. These new technologies driven by artificial intelligence (AI) , the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and robotics are the perfect tools to meet expected rising waste generation. WasteHero looks at 7 high-tech innovations that can contribute to the waste management revolution.
By 2050, global waste is expected to reach 4 billion tons, double that of 2016. The rapid increase is due to the growing urban population and increase in consumer culture in recent decades.
The global waste problem will not go away anytime soon, and traditional waste management systems are not equipped to handle the additional waste from the growing population. To help bridge the gap, communities must adopt smart waste management technologies that increase efficiency, reduce collection costs and divert more waste away from landfills.
Digitalisation has facilitated tremendous innovations across the waste management industry. Thanks to developments such as AI and robots, the waste industry has made a lot of strides in the right direction. Some innovations are a bit newer than others but all worth mentioning. Read on to discover 7 high-tech innovations in waste management.
#1 Pneumatic Waste Pipes
Pneumatic waste systems may not be the newest technology, but they are certainly an innovative solution to urban waste management. Instead of using traditional garbage trucks, waste is transported through underground pipes from buildings to designated collection points. This not only reduces the need for large garbage trucks on the streets but also eliminates the unpleasant smells and pests often associated with traditional waste collection methods. Cities such as Barcelona, Bergen, Seoul, London, Singapore, and Helsinki are increasingly adopting this type of system as a more effective, environment friendly way to manage waste.
#2 Robotic Sorting
As technology continues to advance, we are seeing more and more tasks being taken over by AI and robots. The waste management industry is no exception, with these technologies being increasingly utilised in sorting facilities to improve material recovery, increase efficiency, and reduce labour costs. One example of this is Emmet County’s plan to use robots to support their sorting facility, especially during seasonal labour shortages.
But that’s not all that robots have to offer. Different places have different rules for recycling, and it can be hard for people to know them all. This is where AI trash cans come in handy. They can recognize what kind of waste is being thrown in them and sort it correctly. Not only that, but they can also educate people on where they should dispose of their waste in the future.
#3 Smart Bin Sensors
Meet the driving force behind cutting-edge waste collection. Smart bin sensors track, measure and monitor container fullness to empower dynamic container collection. By accurately measuring bin fill levels, collections can be planned based on when they are necessary as opposed to fixed collection schedules. That way, trucks don’t have to go out on the road unnecessarily which reduces fuel costs and CO2 emissions.
Local authorities throughout the UK have jumped on the trend, with Derby City Council reporting encouraging results from their latest installation. Derby City Council’s Streetpride have installed smart litter bin sensors into 200 ‘hot spot’ bins around the city. So far, the installation has secured a reduction in overflowing bin complaints and a 53% decrease in visits to litter bins by eliminating unnecessary trips.
#4 Solar-Powered Compactor Bins
Solar-Powered Compactor Bins are smart devices that reads a waste bin’s fill-level in real-time and triggers an automatic compaction of the waste. In addition, they collect and transmit data on fill level and collection times to help streamline the collection process. The compaction mechanism runs on a battery, which is charged by the solar panel.
The precursor to those bins is Bigbelly, which is deployed in more than 60 countries, with more than 70,000 units worldwide. The Bigbelly Solar Trash Compactor compacts its contents in order to increase its collection capacity. Furthermore, the Connect by Bigbelly software, allows it to send out notifications when it is nearing its maximum capacity and when it’s full.
#5 Recycling Apps
Everything starts with awareness. But unfortunately, people are still unaware of how a piece of waste should be recycled. In an effort to reduce waste and increase and improve recycling, different organizations have released apps such as RecycleNation and iRecycle that make recycling easier for individuals. With these recycling apps, users can manage their waste, find nearby locations for pickup, discover industry news and insights, and increase their knowledge of where items should go.
Fredericia Kommune jumped on this innovation with their app Affald Fredericia. The purpose of the app is to provide citizens with a tool that will make waste management and recycling more efficient. Besides the fact that you get notifications of the next collection days, you can also report missing collections or problems with emptying, find the nearest recycling centre and see their opening times, check the sorting guide or buy a bag tag for your extra bag of waste. Or in short, everything you need to know about waste collection and recycling in one app!
#6 RFID Technology
Data plays a vital role in the waste management industry and many systems can help you handle it. That is where RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology comes in. Basically, RFID technology is about digital data collection. These digital data are encoded from a reader by radio waves. After that, this encoded data is collected in a database.
RFID is one of the most prominent technologies of today’s waste management sector. WasteHero’s asset management software incorporates RFID technology to enable precise service verification and simplify tracking of containers. This information can help you to understand your waste management process better, make it more efficient and save costs.
#7 Route Optimisation
Waste management companies have been using route optimization system software to enhance their operations. This technology is a very effective tool to minimize your effect on the environment and at the same time to maximize your efficiency. By gathering the data from sensors and collecting them in all-in-one platforms, we can optimize the routes for garbage collection trucks and ensure efficiency. The route planner is very effective in terms of collecting, tracking and analyzing the most accurate data which gives us the best solutions.
WasteHero’s smart sensor technology allows for waste fill levels to be accurately measured. Combined with our comprehensive platform, cities and businesses can plan dynamic, needs-based routing to eliminate unnecessary pick-ups and avoid excess CO2 emissions.
To meet the current challenge of the increase of global waste due to the growing population and the consumer culture, these high-tech innovations will need to be further developed and implemented. A modern update to the traditional approach will allow us to redistribute resources based on data analysis. Such an update will lead us to a circular economy and far more sustainable outcomes. WasteHero leads innovative waste management solutions as well as follows the latest technological inventions in the industry.
Interested in hearing more about the WasteHero solution? Contact a WasteHero expert today!