How to create smart garbage?

What are the first words that will come through our minds when we hear about garbage handling? Dirty, disgusting? Words like innovation and intuitive are sadly not very top of mind in this industry. However nothing is less true. Especially within garbage handling there are a lot of innovative projects which tremendously change the way of working and impact the logistics of garbage handling.

The era of internet of things technology (IoT)?

Internet of things is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. And with devices in everyday objects, we mean like really EVERY day objects. Imagine (smart) bicycles which capture real time data on material wear and tear or data regarding to where your bike is located, or Smart street lights providing the government data on energy usage and functioning hours. In addition, even a better application of internet of things is combining those data between bicycles and street lights to create smart lightning on the streets in order to create an efficient energy distribution by knowing when to turn on the streetlights as soon as bicycles arrive. Due to decreasing costs on sensor technology and big-data handling, last years the internet of things technology took its momentum and skyrocketed enormously in popularity and applications in our whole society, IoT is everywhere.

Car Parking sensors and garbage handling logistics…..?!?

Last years I worked on a great pilot project to create smart garbage handling and I would like to share the idea behind our project and the impact on garbage logistics.

We all know parking sensors applied on cars, that technology is not new anymore, became cheap and is applied to almost every new car. It is that sensor that rings an annoying beep sound if you are almost hitting an object while showing your parking skills (see image below).
parking sensor

So what does parking sensors have to do with garbage handling? We created a creative unintended purpose for those sensors by adding them into the process of garbage handling. We all know the big garbage containers in city center which are being emptied by the garbage handling companies like for example GDF Suez. In our project we created smart containers by putting a car parking sensor up-side down on the ceiling of the container in order to measure the filling degree of the container.

Smart garbage handling

Each time the container reaches 70% of the total capacity the sensor will send a small data package to the garbage handling company that they need to drive by to empty it. They incorporated these data packages into their management information systems to create (big data) intelligence regarding the most efficient route for the truck driver.

smart routes

Creating operational excellence:

  • Effective routes to only full containers
  • Saving labour costs (working hours)
  • Saving fuel (environmental friendly)

Ever thought garbage handling could be so intuitive?

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