Waste management is an elephantine task which involves both logical planning and scientific knowledge to balance the impact on the environment and cost effectiveness of the process. This makes waste management companies feel an extra pressure to perform the role the greenest way possible. Burying all the detritus is no sustainable solution in the modern day, because some may be damaging the soil and surrounding habitat. So it becomes important to seek sustainable means to manage, reduce and reuse the waste generated. Bringing technology into waste management operations is a right step in this direction. Internet of Things (IoT) can impact waste management and the future of recycling. The outdated methods and predefined routes are being replaced with sensor-enabled bins and sophisticated waste management applications.
A noticeable feature of any IoT device is its ability to send and receive data in real time so that it can be used for a multitude of applications. The most common IoT application in waste management operations is the automated route optimization of garbage pickup vehicles. They enable sanitation workers to gain insights into the actual fill level of various disposal units, reducing waste of time, fuel and expense. Also, dustbins and garbage cans can be connected to the internet as a digital can, which can be supervised and managed by identifying fill levels. The data gathered can further be used to optimize logistic operations, for instance, size of the vehicle should be used, routes to follow, garbage to be collected immediately and so on.
The next step for digital bins lies in automating the categorization of garbage content, for example segregating waste into categories like glass, paper, plastic, and metal. By integrating inputs from devices citizens can manage their consumption and waste habits by reducing daily waste footprints.
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The ultimate goal of IoT applications in waste management is providing higher quality services and effective management of operations. It can build a sustainable, greener future.