Smart Waste Management Systems: Why More Cities Need Them

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1Q 2023 | IN-6838

Smart waste management systems are being utilized in cities so that the processes can be traced and become more efficient.

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Larger Amounts of Waste Requires a Smart Approach


Globally, people are continuing to generate astronomical quantities of municipal waste annually, which will continue to increase if municipalities continue to let time pass without action. As populations continue to grow, it is inevitable that the rate at which municipal waste is produced will also continue at a rapid rate.

Smart waste management systems use sensors to monitor the usage levels of containers to highlight which waste containers actually need emptying rather than containers being emptied when not required. With the aim to help keep streets cleaner while also optimizing the workforce of the municipalities and private bodies whose role it is to ensure the cleanliness of the streets.

Smart Waste Management Helps Staff Management


Smart waste management systems enable municipalities to be able to both monitor and trace a variety different aspects of the waste collection and sorting processes. The systems not only encourage an optimized workforce, but also encourage improved routing of collection trucks and a more responsive process to unexpected needs. The utilization of these solutions not only increases the efficiencies of the bodies that are in charge of waste collection and maintenance but also helps cuts costs, which is only becoming more crucial as the economy remains unstable.

The implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) within the waste management sector will enable district councils and, furthermore, municipalities planners to better manage their resources, be that their time, their staff, or their money. HGV driver shortages have affected many European countries, more specifically the UK due to shortages involving the type of driver required to drive the waste collection vehicles in most instances. This has made it even more crucial for municipalities to be more considerate with their resources, especially their staffing.

Strategic Partnerships Making Resources Stretch Further


Smart waste management systems offer a range of benefits for their end-users, including optimized route mapping based on the demands for waste collection and only sending out staff on collections when required, based on usage. They can also identify potential incidents on waste products such as storage containers; a variety of different sensors can be used within the solutions, such as temperature sensors, indicating whether or not there are animals or humans that are inside the container, as well as potential container fires. These enable actions to be taken in a swifter manner, inevitably preventing increased damage to both the container and the surrounding area due to the unknown contents of the containers themselves. The sensors and solutions can monitor all types of containers, offering insights to the usage of the different types of containers and how these change during different time periods.

However, there are some disadvantages to starting up a new initiative. The introduction to the solution itself with the additional pieces of hardware will require the user to incur upfront cost, as will the additional replacement containers, software, and end-user applications. In addition to this, wireless network access point availability can be a challenge in some environments. Depending on the connectivity choice of the solution provider, this could be a hinderance to setting up the initiatives, but since the majority of these initiatives will be based in cities and towns, this should not present as much of a barrier.

With the forever increasing amount of waste being produced, it is important that municipalities start developing new initiatives to tackle the problem of increasing waste. The recycling industry is changing, and the addition of IoT will allow them to reap the benefits of utilizing the workforce more efficiently.  Alongside the growing concern over the amount of waste that is being produced and the overall cleanliness of the planet in general, it is likely that the implementation of these solutions in cities will grow.



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