With each passing day, more cities globally have begun getting on board with the incorporation of smart waste management solutions into their systems. This is in a bid to create increased efficiency with regards to the costs and resources associated with ensuring that the cities are smart. Although only a few cities have begun testing the equipment of private households bins with advanced sensor technology, most of the cities have begun with the implementation of smart waste management solutions in the public sphere.
At the moment, the state of technology used in smart waste management revolves around the use of sensors that measure how full a trash bin is. The measured data is in turn transferred to the Cloud where is it further processed and analyzed. Ordinarily, the explication of the data can aid the adequate planning of trash collection and track routes can be effectively optimized.
IMPLEMENTATION OF SOLUTIONS
The waste management solutions are geared towards making the environment healthier while also giving room for the optimization of the available utilities. In addition, smart waste management solutions also contribute to the total efficiency of waste recycling and also provide an opportunity for route optimization for the reduction in traffic and fuel consumption.
A popular smart waste management solution includes having a sensor attached to trash bins to measure the fill level as well as a communication system that transmits the data to the Cloud. As the data processing is done in the cloud, the route of the collection trucks is in turn optimized. Thus, most companies dedicated to smart waste management have solutions that are based on what is referred to as ultrasonic distance measurement. Other companies will rather use an alternative solution that includes the use of camera and image processing as a passive sensor.
The latter option is, however, more commonly used. The ultrasonic sensors also implement different types of sensors to obtain additional data. For instance, the sensors could be used for monitoring other parameters about the container’s status, such as the position through utilizing GPS or the use of motion sensors in a bid to register the container collections and also moved to detect likely vandalism.
PROBLEMS OF CURRENT SMART WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
The process of waste management currently in existence begins with the waste created by the people in the cities being disposed of in trash bins that are made available near the creation point. Subsequently, the trash is collected by private companies trucks or municipality at definite terms and sent to the temporary collection centers. From the collection centers, the trash is then sent to where it will be recycled. However, the implementation of this process only comes as a partial solution to the waste problems. In fact, it gives rise to some other problems. For instance, at the time of collection, some of the trash bins may be overfilled while some others may be underfilled. The trash bins that are overfilled lead to unhygienic conditions. Truck routes that are unoptimized also lead to excessive fuel usage. In addition, overfilled trash bins cause environmental pollution and the fact that all the trash collected is combined causes complication in sorting at the recycling plant.
In essence, there are two major disadvantages of the solutions currently available. The first is that there is a non-uniform distribution of waste in the container and a simple distance measurement more often than not results in a false fill level measurement. The normal ultrasonic sensor commonly used have been proposed to be upgraded by several procedures but the results are generally still not the best. If for instance multiple sensors are used, that will help in getting a more precise determination of the fill level. However, it is quite costly and usually not the ideal solution for commercial purposes.
Another disadvantage of the solution that exists is that it is incomplete and partial. A waste management cycle begins with the production of waste which is then disposed of at the local trash bins. Subsequently, a garbage collecting company collects the waste and brings it to the garbage depot where it is sorted and transferred for recycling, storage or destruction. However, a complete waste management solution should have something about trash bin fill level measurement, trucks’ route optimization and also involved in the recycling process by making the sorting process easier as the sorting process at the moment is manual and can be very slow. For the recycling process, the current smart waste management system that exists has no solution for the recycling process.
However, even though the solution is an improvement on the sensorless solution as it is affected by major setbacks, the poor performance of sensors and also lack of contribution to the sorting done at the recycling plant are still some issues. However, a system that helps in the automated management of the lifecycle of products could lead to a simpler and cheaper recycling of used products. This occurs when the technical information about a particular product has been incorporated during production. Such information including the materials from which the product is gotten, the appropriate recycling ways, among other things. This would help organizations in charge of waste collection to automatically search for containers’ contents and to also organize the collection service according to the information gotten. In addition, that would make the waste management activities more cost-effective.
Swachhcoin has a SwBin which is a customized waste collection bin that has several features such as automatic opening and closing lid, integrated waste separation and linked user identity database, among others. All these features make the SwBin a suitable solution.
In conclusion, even with these issues, everyone still has a lot to benefit from smart waste technology. Thus, by investing in a sensor technology, the operational and cost efficiency will be optimized in several areas. Better still, the cost of getting these technologies up and running is rapidly decreasing and this makes it a good time to take advantage of the smart waste management solutions.
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