The world is drowning in an ever-increasing heap of garbage. The rate at which waste is accumulating is turning our towns and cities into dump sites. Nations all over the world are faced with the herculean task of finding convenient and appropriate means of disposing of wastes.
Waste disposal management is one of the prime challenges faced by most countries around the world. Technological developments are opening gates for exploration and production activities, which eventually results in waste formation.
Tracking Waste Using Blockchain Technology
The technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are slowly making way into waste management. It could even play a very vital role in keeping recyclables out of landfills.
The blockchain is a super-secure digital ledger, where transactions records are kept chronologically and publicly. According to experts, the technology would also make it easier to track shipments of waste and recycling. It could even help with regulatory compliance.
Jody Cleworth, the CEO of Marine Transport International said, “The shipping of recovered materials is necessarily heavily regulated, and we’ve had a real impact in simplifying the process while remaining compliant.” Marine Transport International is a New Jersey-based freight forwarder. The company just completed a successful blockchain pilot. This pilot created a common tracking system linking up recycling suppliers, port operators, and ocean carriers.
Phil Rudoni, Chief Tech Officer at Rubicon said that “A big issue the waste industry faces is the lack of accountability for the end destination of recycled material. Rubicon is an Atlanta-based tech startup that provides cloud-based recycling and waste services.
Waste has always been difficult to track but with blockchain, it is believed that it would be much easier. It wouldn’t be so difficult to design a system where pieces of plastic (or trash bags) could be tagged with scannable QR-Codes and then tracked at each step of the recycling supply chain.
Blockchain and Waste Management
Several waste initiatives have seen the potential of incorporating blockchain technology. One if such initiative is the Plastic Bank, a global recycling venture founded in Canada. Its main aim is to reduce plastic waste in developing countries like Haiti, Peru, Colombia, and the Philippines. It has plans to extend it’s territory this year.
The initiative pays people who bring plastic rubbish to bank recycling centers. One payment option is the use of blockchain-secured digital tokens. The tokens can be used to purchase things like food or phone-charging units in any store using the Plastic Bank app.
The plastic is then bought by companies and recycled into new consumer products. This system is more attractive because blockchain’s transparency means they can see and monitor where their investment goes.
Another use of blockchain in managing waste is emerging in French rail. A system made by SNCF subsidiary Arep uses blockchain to collect detailed information on station bins. This data will make it possible for station managers to see what providers have done and when. This allows them to improve waste management and optimize sorting.
When it comes to waste management, it is time we look beyond the traditional methods of waste disposal. Blockchains are already beginning to provide benefits in this area and we believe they still have much more potentials that are yet untapped.
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