Smart Solid Waste Management has quickly become a reality with the introduction of so many smart devices onto the market. The breakthrough came with the development of LoRa (short for Long Range) communication protocol. Sensors are now battery driven, sending small packets of data of a distance of a few kilometres to the gateway. Truly remarkable.
The assets associated with solid waste management are almost always dispersed over a large area. This is ideal for LoRa with high penetrating abilities through brick walls and buildings.
Smart solid waste management is based on fitting regular bins with LoRa enabled sensors that detect when the bin is full. The bin will be fitted with a tracking device as well. The data is displayed in real time to the facility manager that can activate the closest truck to collect the bin. Obviously the truck will be fitted with a tracking device that will indicate current location in relation to the bin. With large bins the savings is achieved to collect the bin only when full as well as making use of the closest available vehicle at exactly the right time. Bins not collected at the optimum time could lead to spillage on the road when too full.
The truck driver can also be informed via IoT technology of the content of the bin, and directed to the correct disposal site.
Keeping track of the frequency of collection will make it be possible to provide useful information on how much garbage/waste is produced in a specific area or site. The area manager can then determine when certain areas or sites are producing more waste than other similar areas, and be pro-active on finding the cause. This could lead to a reduction in waste generation.
The frequency of collection can also be useful when optimising the fleet size. Collection frequency can be related to the rate of waste generation, and it will be possible to predict the demand for trucks at certain days. Without historic data it will be impossible to make useful predictions.
The available historic data can also predict the useful life of a solid waste site quite accurately. The establishment and licencing of a new site is time-consuming and costly, but the non-availability of a site is disastrous.
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Internet of Things (IoT): Think big and start small!