According to statistics of the European Commission, cities will be roughly doubling their population in 2050. This will have a great impact on the worldwide amount of waste. With the expectation of an increasing waste stream, cities require sustainable waste collection and processing. In order to maintain liveable cities whilst the population is growing, municipalities and waste collectors must therefore create a sustainable environment and infrastructure. In this article, we will go through how smart cities will be attuned to manage this process.
What is a smart city?
Before we start looking at smart waste management for sustainable waste collection and processing, we will make sure to let you know what exactly is a smart city. In general terms, a smart city is seen as a city where information technology and the Internet of Things are used to manage and govern the city. By means of a network of sensors, high-tech devices and the internet, all parts of the city are connected. Although this may sound as a a recipe for a dystopian totalitarian nightmare, it will most definitely also allow for better governance and organizing the city more efficiently. The value lies in how smart technology and the decisions that are made with it can ultimately lead to a better quality of life and optimize city functions.
Smart waste management with smart bins
Even though smart waste management solutions are still a new frontier for local authorities, there are significant developments aiming at the right direction. Smart bins are a definitely a unique way for local authorities to better manage city waste and to plan accordingly. A smart waste bin is usually powered by solar energy and its capacity can be read in real-time by means of sensors that monitor whether a bin is full or not. A smart waste bin is always connected to the internet, in order to read the status of the waste process in a certain environment at any time of the day. This not only ensures that municipalities and companies know immediately when a waste bin needs to be emptied, but by means of a compressing mechanism the effective capacity of a waste bin is increased by no less than five to eight times. This mechanism remains functional for about 3 to 4 weeks on a full battery. With smart waste bins, waste is stored much more efficiently, which ultimately leads to enormous cost savings and less CO2 emissions.