What Is Urban Waste and Why Is It Important?
Dense populations in urban areas produce enormous amounts of waste. Highly populated areas require efficient waste management systems that manage the process of collection, transportation, recycling, and disposal.
Improper waste disposal and poorly managed landfills generate ground and air pollution that has harmful effects on people and the environment. Modern innovations can help cities protect the health and safety of their citizens while cutting overall costs and conserving resources.
4 Innovative Solutions to Urban Waste Management Issues
Pioneering companies have brought science and technology to the forefront of the industry. Whether you’re managing a city or a business, you have a critical role in the management of urban waste. Your proactive involvement not only allows you to fulfill your social responsibility, but it also enhances your reputation while saving both time and money through increased efficiency.
What are the issues facing urban waste management today, and how are innovative companies addressing them?
1. The Issue: Landfill Gas Pollution
Landfills pollute the air with methane gas and carbon dioxide, which poses a threat to human health and the environment and generates an odor that becomes a public nuisance.
Exelon’s Solution: Convert Landfill Gas into Electricity
City officials across the country are closely watching the progress of this promising innovation. It simultaneously solves two problems:
- How to generate more electricity without burning fossil fuels
- How to reduce harmful landfill gas emissions that contribute to smog and poor air quality
Exelon owns and operates one of largest landfill gas-to-electricity facilities in the country, located about 30 miles northeast of Philadelphia in Fairless Hills, PA.
How does this innovation work? Wells within the landfill collect gas emissions that are piped through a filtering system to remove moisture and contaminants. The filtered gas powers a turbine that turns an electric generator. Electricity from the generator passes through a transformer to nearby powerlines for distribution.
Cities are able to provide additional electricity to the community while reducing landfill gas and improving air quality.
2. The Issue: Inefficient Waste Collection
Urban waste collection methods involve arbitrary, pre-scheduled pickup times that result in half empty or overflowing bins on collection days, poor use of city or company assets, and unnecessary fuel consumption.
Sensa Networks’ Solution: Automated Bin Management
Sensa Network has harnessed the power of the IIoT, the Industrial Internet of Things, to provide a solution to waste management problems in urban areas. They specialize in automation and optimization using smart sensors to wirelessly communicate between machines for the purpose of efficient bin management.
Sensa’s fullness monitoring system detects when your bin has reached a specified fullness level. The system automatically schedules a pickup and issues a corresponding purchase order on your company’s behalf. No more overflowing bins on high-volume days, and no more half-empty bins getting picked up.
This smart urban waste management system also features remote diagnostics that monitor equipment and system performance, detecting problems and scheduling maintenance calls before the issues become advanced enough to cause a breakdown.
You can keep up with this flow of information using Sensa’s remote monitoring platform, which captures and logs all activities in real time. The platform allows you to access information concerning compactor fullness, scheduled pickups, service alerts, and more.
Sensa’s waste management solutions give you control, allowing you to monitor and increase efficiency while saving time and resources.
3. The Issue: Millions of Smartphone and Tablets Are Crowding Landfills
The United Nations reports that every year, 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are discarded, ending up in landfills around the world.
ecoATM’s Solution: Smart Kiosks Provide Instant Payment for Mobile Devices
The public is largely unaware of where or how to recycle their mobile devices. Most e-waste ends up in landfills, but ecoATM has implemented a highly effective urban waste management technique that brings the solution straight to the consumer. Across the country, over 2800 ecoATM kiosks can be found in hotspots like malls, large retailers, and even grocery stores.
ecoATM kiosks offer instant payment for unwanted electronic devices. This is keeping approximately 19 million devices from ending up in landfills nationwide. The company either recycles the devices or refurbishes them for sale. Their website provides information on kiosk locations, how to prepare your device for sale, and how much compensation you can expect.
Community and business leaders can contact ecoATM directly to suggest a Kiosk placement.
4. The Issue: Improper Waste Sorting
When waste isn’t effectively sorted, large amounts of recyclable materials end up in landfills.
Bin-E’s Solution: Smart Waste Containers Automatically Sort and Compress Waste
Bin-E markets its smart urban waste management system to businesses that want a streamlined, hands-off recycling system. Bin-E’s attractive compactor, with its touchscreen interface, invites you to drop your waste into a single compartment, and automatically recognizes, sorts, and compresses it.
The smart bin uses a camera, sensors, and artificial intelligence to identify and process glass, plastic, paper, and metal. Its smart sensors monitor bin fullness and optimize your pick-up schedules.
Bin-E offers bin customization, a service that prints your company logo or graphic on the smart waste container. You can advertise your brand while implementing urban waste management techniques.
Working Together for Greater Efficiency and Community Health
When you implement innovative waste management solutions, you not only boost your reputation and your business’s long-term profits, you also contribute to the well-being of your surrounding community.
Companies like Sensa Networks offer practical solutions to complex problems using IIoT technology. Their smart sensors allow you to begin with the equipment you already have. Contact Sensa Networks today for details about their solutions to your urban waste management issues.