According to the research, 2.1 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste is generated annually around the globe. Population growth and urbanization lead to a huge increase in waste generation, so the methods of waste collection became inefficient and costly. This is where “smart waste management” came to the light and solved the issues with obsolete methods of waste collection. Before explaining the details of smart solutions for solid waste management, understanding what the traditional system is and its problems would be more beneficial.
The regular waste management system includes waste collection trucks and its drivers that follow a predefined route without examining the containers’ fullness level. This system doesn’t have an ability to measure the fullness levels of containers and due to that half-full containers can be emptied and in contrast, pre-filled ones wait until the next collection period comes. Moreover, since drivers collect empty bins, predefined collection routes of the system cause waste of time, an increase in the fuel consumption, and excessive use of resources. Another drawback is that being unable to know when a fire or displacement occurred in the container. In order to enhance the current regular system into a better one, technological innovations, and advancements implemented into the waste collection process.
Smart waste management focuses on solving the previously mentioned solid waste management problems by using sensors, intelligent monitoring systems, and mobile applications. The first smart solution to make the waste collection process more efficient is using sensors. Sensors can measure the fill level of the containers and provide updated information at any time and notify waste management services to empty them when they are full or near-full. These devices help to optimize the best possible route that only contains fully filled containers and create smart schedules for drivers. The selection of the containers also minimizes the need for trash collection crews because their duties will be deduced. They can also alert the waste management companies or municipalities if an undesirable incident happens such as sudden temperature rise or displacement of the container by their GPS features. IoT solutions for solid waste management problems offer municipalities access to data intelligence and real-time insights. In that regard, the fill patterns of specific containers can be identified by historical data and managing accordingly in the long term. In addition to hardware, mobile applications are used to overcome the challenges in the regular waste management system such as keeping track of the drivers while they are operating on the field.
Due to using smart dumpsters, there will be no need for a physical check for every container. This leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and its cost and allows waste collection companies or municipalities to allocate their resources more efficiently.
As route optimization is implemented in smart waste management, there will be no more overflowed trash bins while near-full ones wait to be filled completely.
Data analysis produced by IoT gives customers demographic analysis and creates a chance to take action according to the filling patterns of that district.
Due to the smarter scheduling of garbage collection trucks, the carbon footprint is reduced and makes the traditional waste collection system more environmentally friendly.
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