Waste sorting and proper waste management has become a crucial issue plaguing a lot of metro cities. While developed countries have already created enough infrastructures to regulate waste and monitor waste disposal, many developing countries such as India, China and Brazil are still building up enough infrastructure to ensure that waste is sorted and disposed successfully and regularly. This is where Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other modern age technologies come in. Use of various IoT sensors, BLE beacons, RFID tags and LoRaWAN can create a robust and wide spread network of waste collection to disposal systems.
Internet of Technology (IoT) is a set of modern and old technologies which connect physical devices that are capable of data transmission over the internet. The term IoT was first used in 1999 by Kevin Asthon, who was a RFID promoter and was working with P&G (Proctor and Gamble) at the moment. Kevin later founded the AutoID centre at MIT.
Internet of Things has come a long way and now there are more than 15B connected devices, capable of sharing data over the internet and communicating with other devices (Machine to Machine, M2M).
Let’s see some of the popular technologies that can help with waste management in big cities:
1. Wireless Sensors to Monitor Waste
One most important and popular way to use technology is the use of wireless sensors attached to waste bins, which can be powered by batteries or solar energy. These sensors can detect when the bin is full, allowing waste management workers to efficiently plan collection routes. Moreover, advanced data analytics can be used to optimize waste collection routes and predict future waste levels.
2. LPWAN and LoRaWAN for Waste Management
LPWAN, short for Low Powered Wide Area Network is a great tool that can be leveraged to create a network of wireless devices engaged in waste monitoring and sorting. LoRaWAN specification is one such low power consuming tool that can be used over a wide area. The battery devices connected through LoRaWAN last for more than 10 years when it comes to battery life, bringing the implementation costs to lowest among other technologies. The LoRaWAN is a open network architecture, so anyone can set up devices working on this technology.
It allows various sensors and devices to share data over a wide area, enabling a centralized data collection system on waste management, which allows for better decision making and better implementation.
3. Tracking Waste Bins with RFID
Another technology that can be used in waste management is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) which is a wireless technology enabling tracking and managing waste bins more effectively.
Monitoring waste bins and their collection from various intersections (homes, waste points) through modern IoT capabilities, as well as using IoT-powered energy and asset management solutions to reduce waste and operational costs is a great use of technology here. Leveraging IoT solutions can help waste management companies to better manage their resources, reduce their environmental impact, and provide better services to customers.
Many cities in the world and in India (Lucknow, Gurugram, Agra etc.) are using RFID tags on people’s homes and equipping waste collection truck with RFID reader to ensure waste is collected from all households and there is no inconvenience to people due to irregular waste collection.
4. BLE for Waste Bins
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is another wireless technology that can be used to monitor waste bins and guiding people toward a nearby waste bin or waste collection point.
BLE is popular for low power consumption and its PAwR (Periodic Advertisement with Response), allowing it to broadcast Bluetooth signals to nearby devices with Bluetooth capabilities, such as smartphones and tablets.
BLE beacons can also be set up at crucial, high crowd areas such as parks, and other tourist attractions to broadcast information in waste management and waste sorting and help tourists find a nearby waste bin and avoid littering.
These are few examples of how IoT solutions can be leveraged for waste management. These technological solutions have the potential to revolutionize the waste management industry by providing real-time data and insights to optimize operations and reduce waste. Apart from that, technology can also be leveraged to inform and spread awareness amongst people about harms of littering and non-sorting of waste at home.
- Last updated on Jun 28, 2023