Garbage collection is something most people would love to have done as soon as their bins are full. At many locations, there are often instances where some residents have their bins overflowing, well before pick dates.
This is not only a smelly and unsightly problem, it is also a public health risk. The problem is that waste collection firms would rather limit the number of pickups in such a way as to ensure efficient use of resources.
A recently released Global Smart Waste Market report predicts that a 16.82% compound annual growth rate will be experienced in 2014-2019, with the use of new waste management technologies. Some of the advancements that are already being considered and used by developed countries include radio frequency interface devices (RFIDs) and sensor based containers.
These technologies have proven useful to a number of waste collection providers as they enable the management to confirm not just that their trucks have serviced certain areas, but also the specific bins that have been emptied.
There is often confusion in urban areas served by different waste collection firms and authorities. Similar looking bins that are stashed within the same proximity often leads to some bins not being emptied, and conflicts with customers wondering why pickups were not carried out as promised.
With RFID and sensor based technology, there is now a way to ensure all bins are emptied when a truck arrives in the area. This not only allows for better efficiency in service provision and logistics, but also savings in fuel expenses, as trucks do not need to be sent back because some bins were missed.
This level of accountability also allows consumers to feel more confident in their choice of smart waste collection provider.
Data collected from these devices can also allow companies to more efficiently plan collection routes, dates and timing. They can also better manage staff activity.
Remotely tracking the positions of their fleet in real-time is a good way to ensure that employees are not wasting time, or diverting off scheduled routes. This can be a means of picking out top employees who may be worthy of some reward or promotion. Bristol waste collection has already begun their program and has been finding great success.
Another technology that has been emphasized in the report is plasma gasification. If this innovation becomes widely used, it will have a huge impact on the landfilling, composting, recycling and incineration of waste.
This involves the use of plasma torch technology to turn carbon-based waste into syngas, and the remaining non-organic waste into slag.
Syngas, or synthetic gas, is considered an excellent clean energy source that results in little air pollution. With the resulting compressed slag formed into bricks usable as construction materials, it would appear that with time landfills might soon become a thing of the past.
The growing problem of landfills, which take up acres of space and can easily lead to devaluing of surrounding properties thanks to the smell and ugliness. With time, any toxic substances in the garbage can easily leach into the soil and affect groundwater.
Hazardous materials like mercury, cadmium and acids are known to be common culprits often found in garbage. Organic waste also emits greenhouse gases that are considered a leading cause of global warming and climate change.
With advanced waste management technologies, countries can not only improve on how they collect municipal solid waste, but also ensure that in their disposal, there is benefit derived.
Being able to turn waste into a clean energy source and construction materials is an excellent way to help protect the environment and boost the renewable energy industry.