Jackie Thompson

The cost of waste management in U.S. cities is predicted to rise by 47% over the next five years, according to Cass Information Systems. As such, it is paramount that authorities and citizens take practical steps toward smart waste management. Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point that the likes of The Internet of Things (IoT) exist, and have the capacity to shift how things are done and how much they cost. So how exactly is this being applied in both large-scale and private sectors?

IoT And Large-Scale Waste Management
IoT is swiftly changing the way that large-scale waste management is handled in towns and cities. In San Francisco, for example, a startup called WasteOS is aiming to cut waste management costs by 40%. Through smart sensors and IoT connectivity, data is collected and effectively analyzed regarding the disposal patterns of citizens and establishments. This data can help authorities determine which areas must be prioritized for waste management. Sensor-driven garbage bins also provide real-time measurements to alert waste removal authorities when to collect and where. Sending out vehicles only when necessary helps relevant authorities to save on gas and avoid adding to daily traffic. Other cities and states are looking to adopt similar IoT strategies with waste management.

 IoT And Private Use
Beyond large-scale waste management by authorities, IoT use by private households and businesses is on the rise. A reported 7 out of 10 Americans are now very comfortable in using IoT technology. One of the best examples of private use of IoT in waste management is the existence of automated and learning cleaning machines, like the Roomba. Smart technology enables such machines to map out and recall a cleaning route without prompting. They are even able to detect messier areas and prioritize them accordingly. IoT also enables the application of eco-friendly cleaning methods, as smart machines aren’t wasteful in terms of energy and water consumption. This gives homeowners and business owners extra freedom to go about other things instead of dedicating manpower, money and time to cleaning.

The Overall Benefits
In large-scale operations and within the confines of private homes and businesses, IoT has multiple benefits for waste management. The use of smart sensors allows for full transparency, as data is easily accessible, according to Sensa Networks. The availability and accessibility of data enable a clear record of events that users can build on to streamline future processes and waste management protocols. For example, data can point out which areas need more attention than others. It can also help emphasize any frailties that presently exist like lack of staff or broken collection receptacles. Ultimately, IoT enables a clear evaluation of everything to better determine practical and cost-effective measures.

There is no doubt that technological advancements will continue to play a significant role in waste disposal. Right now, the IoT movement is definitely making headway in changing the way that both government and citizens are approaching waste management. Seeing what other advancements will be made in the coming years is certainly something that everyone should look forward to.

Photo by Kowon vn on Unsplash