By way of definition, a smart city is a city that utilizes technology and data for the creation of more efficient results, improvement of sustainability in all sectors, fostering a wide-ranging economic development and contribution to the enhancement of the living conditions of those residing and working in that particular city. The utilization of technology to achieve these purposes covers a wide range of sectors, ranging from the health sector to the education sector and even the waste management in the cities.
Technology has immensely contributed to the reduction in cost and complexity of current waste management systems thereby improving their efficiency, safety, and productivity while also reducing the impact they have on the environment. Thus, this article aims to analyze the different ways by which technology can be incorporated, and is currently being incorporated, into the waste management system of smart cities to achieve better results.
Technology For Waste Management
The complexity surrounding waste management has become more pronounced than before. More tons of trash is produced by citizens around the world and this has led to a major challenge which is how to successfully dispose of waste without opening individuals to major health issues. Specifically, the waste collection which is a component of waste management is an essential service for any city and the current system that exists can be greatly improved by using smart technology to foster increased efficiency and cause an improvement in the quality of waste collection processes.
In a bid to handle these challenges and tackle the adverse effects of landfill waste, among other dangerous waste products on the environment, waste management industries globally are rethinking the different strategies. Some of these strategies include using technology for operational analytics and route optimization as these can considerably lead to achieving sustainability goals in this wise and reducing the operational costs.
In addition, they are also changing how they handle waste and its disposal so as to achieve increased efficiency and enhancement of environmental protection.
Thus, some of the major areas where technological tools are being utilized for those purposes include
1. Automated Waste Collection
With the introduction of automated sensors that function to trigger automatic alerts each time a container is filled up and needs to be serviced, technology has impacted the workings of waste management. In fact, some other tools such as advanced disk screens and optical sorters have been introduced to make the sorting process easier and faster.
In addition, the trucks used in the waste collection now run on natural gas and not diesel for operations which are quieter and more cost-effective. Further, logistics software, mobile apps and in-vehicle monitors have made the waste management process simpler while also ensuring that the driver is safe.
2. Improved Rates of Recycling
Currently, waste management companies and also recycling companies are working on improving their techniques and tools. There is a recent development available in single-stream recycling which allows people to dump all their trash in one bin. That has helped to reduce people’s burden of sorting and has also impacted the recycling rate. In addition, it has contributed to the reduction of truck count as well as the emissions.
3. Route Optimization
Route optimization is important in the protection of the environment and the reduction of hazardous emissions and accounts for why companies are going ahead to invest in advanced systems as well as software dedicated to optimization. These companies are now using automated trucks which have already installed robotic arms that function to save effort and time along normal routes. It has made pickups from one point to another quite eco-friendly. The technology is also quite viable financially and also improved energy efficiency.
4. Modernization of Landfill
Through a harness of the power of technology, the waste management industry has succeeded in modernizing garbage dumps. The systematically engineered landfills that adequately comply with relevant regulations ensure a complete protection of health and preservation of the environment. Also, the use of solar panel systems which are integrated together with geomembrane are providing essential backings for production of energy deemed sustainable and also preventing carbon from finding its way back into the environment.
5. Faster Turnaround Periods
Some waste management companies have also begun investing in technology that provides better customer experience to their customers. These companies are investing in the creation of mobile apps that are user-friendly so they can promote quicker delivery of services and even bill payments via push notifications.
6. Conversion of Waste to Energy
This is one of the core ways technology is being used to transform the operations of waste management companies in smart countries. Rather than leaving particular types of waste in the landfill, they can be converted to energy. There are new innovative machinery called digesters for this purpose. Digesters can convert the waste and the produced biogas into energy that can be effectively used onsite. It can be used on different categories of waste such as agricultural leftovers, food, animal waste, among others.
Another innovative technology used for conversion of waste is called thermal conversion. This helps to convert waste into specific products. By using cues gotten from natural geothermal processes that function using heat and pressure to convert useless materials to products that have relevant usages.
It can be used to turn waste materials into fertilizers, chemicals, oils among other important converted products. Better still, certain varieties if landfill gas can also be converted to energy. The relevant gas in this wise will be those flared or released that can be converted into energy by using certain new innovative technology. Examples of such technology are microturbine technology, bioreactors, and fuel cells.
Swachh Bins — SwBins
SwBin is an innovative device of the Swachhcoin Platform that can autonomously sustain the Ecosystem while also retaining its core fundamental governing and working principles. This tool has some of the most revolutionary features not present in a lot of traditional waste management systems. Some of these features include:
1. Dapp Support
2. Enabled IoT support
3. Automatic opening and closing lid
4. LED Advertisement Panels
5. Waste Sorting at source
6. Waste compression
7. Unique User Identification
All these innovative features of the SwBin help to foster better waste management activities and is therefore ideal for all smart cities across the world.
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