Currently, over 2 billion tons of waste are produced globally every year. The vast majority of this waste ends up in landfills where it pollutes the local ecosystem, releases harmful emissions and creates a range of environmental and public health issues. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t going away any time soon as, by 2050, the amount of waste produced globally is expected to rise to a staggering 3.4 billion tons.
One of the best ways to mitigate the environmental impact of municipal solid waste is to introduce smarter, more tech-focused solutions to the waste management industry. These innovative processes help to streamline collections, monitor waste levels and make it easier for individuals and businesses to up their rates of recycling and help the environment.
What Is Smart Waste Management?
Smart waste management refers to systems that use tech to make the waste management process more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more sustainable. Many of these new emerging waste management technologies utilize the internet of things (IOT) to help streamline waste collection and improve sustainability. For example, some businesses in the waste management industry are already using smart waste bins to monitor trash levels in real-time and schedule collections in order to maximize efficiency.
How Smart Tech Is Changing the Future of Waste Management?
A number of innovative companies are working on exciting new waste management systems and technologies that are specifically designed to build a more sustainable waste management industry. These technologies come in a variety of different forms and address a number of different issues affecting the waste management industry. One thing they all have in common is a desire to reduce pollution, streamline the waste collection system and protect our environment.
Many of the new technologies making waves in the world of solid waste management are aimed at businesses. This is because companies generally produce more waste than individual households. Helping businesses to make sustainable waste management easier and more cost-effective will encourage more to recycle. With an estimated 75% of all the waste we produce thought to be recyclable, this could have a real impact on pollution, landfills levels and climate change.
Top 6 Smart Waste Technologies
Around the world, businesses and waste management companies are already integrating smart automation and technology into their processes. Here are six of the most exciting emerging technologies for 2024.
Pello is a new technology that’s been developed to help businesses reduce their environmental impact and manage their waste collection more efficiently. Pello helps companies to achieve these goals in a number of different ways. Firstly, the Pello system monitors the fill-level of your trash cans and provides real-time information on the dumpsters’ contents and location. It also tells you if your container has been contaminated and sends pickup alerts when a collection is due.
Having this information at your fingertips allows you to streamline your waste management practices and take control of your business’ waste disposal. It also means that garbage trucks are only sent out when absolutely necessary, something that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut traffic.
2. Recycling Robots
Artificial Intelligence has been in the news a lot lately, and not always for the right reasons. However, one area where AI could make a real and valuable difference is in the world of recycling. AI robots can be programmed to quickly and accurately differentiate between different materials, and many recycling centers are already making use of the technology.
Introducing AI robotics into the process allows for more efficient waste sorting in recycling centers and helps to divert as many recyclable materials away from landfills as possible. It also allows waste management companies to operate longer hours or even stay open 24/7, dramatically increasing the amount of waste processed.
3. Pneumatic Waste Pipes
As urban areas grow and become more densely populated, traditional waste disposal and collection systems become less practical. One of the best tech solutions to this problem is the pneumatic waste pipe. Pneumatic pipes can be installed below public waste containers to transport waste straight to processing centers without the need for a trash pickup.
This system has two main benefits. The first is that it can dramatically reduce the number of garbage trucks on the roads. This can help to cut harmful emissions and minimize the number of vehicles clogging up our cities. Secondly, sending waste direct from dumpsters to waste management centers can help to avoid full containers overflowing. As well as being unsightly, overflowing dumpsters can cause an environmental health hazard and contribute to the pollution of the local area.
4. Solar-Powered Trash Compactors
The more waste a trash truck can carry, the more it can collect on each round and the fewer trips it has to make. Solar-powered trash compactors compress trash as it accumulates inside a dumpster to increase capacity. This allows these smart containers to hold up to five times more than traditional trash bins.
As well as compressing waste, solar-powered trash compactors have built in waste level sensors. These sensors transmit data on the capacity of the bins, allowing users to schedule pickups and streamlining the collection process.
5. E-Waste Kiosks
Electronic waste, like old computers, phones and TVs, contains a lot of harmful substances. If e-waste is improperly disposed of, these substances can leak out into the environment and pose a serious hazard to both human health and the local ecosystem. Instead of being sent to landfill, e-waste should be recycled or, even better, repaired and reused. This will help to prevent harmful chemicals seeping into our soil and water and protect the local area.
One startup company has taken things into their own hands by launching specialist e-waste recycling kiosks. EcoATM kiosks allow you to dispose of your unwanted electronics safely and easily. If your phone, tablet or computer is still in good condition, they may even give you cash in exchange for the item, rewarding your efforts and helping to boost e-waste recycling rates in the process.
6. Recycling Apps
Apps have changed the way we order taxis, the way we date and the way we communicate, so why not the way we recycle? A new range of apps is now available to help individuals and businesses navigate the world of recycling. From donating your food waste to a worthy cause and giving away your clothes, to locating a nearby recycling center, these apps are a fantastic resource for those who want to keep their waste out of the landfill. Some apps also provide detailed information on exactly which materials can be recycled in your local area.
Because a lot of apps allow you to pass unwanted items on to other people, they’re also a great way to develop a sustainable, circular economy. Check out your app store to find out more about the specialist apps on offer.
Technology has a huge amount to contribute to waste management and recycling. Used well, it can help us to reuse old electronics, recycle ever more of our plastics and reduce the number of vehicles on our roads. In the future, tech advancements are likely to have an even greater impact on recycling rates and efficiency, leading to a greener, healthier planet for all of us.
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