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The waste and recycling industry has been one of the last to hold out against the wave of tech disruption that has transformed other sectors with substantial debate over the role of technology in meeting sustainable development goals.  But the dam has now broken, and long-established waste management players are scrambling to keep up with a new generation of start-ups and innovators who are using automation and smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning to transform the industry.

What is a Smart Waste City?

An Intelligent Waste Series by Solar Bins has defined it beautifully: “A Smart Cities mandate is to start with the perspective of the users of the city or customers of the city – the residents, rate payers, students, workers, visitors, business owners – by saying, ‘what can smart cities do to improve the livability, prosperity and sustainability of our city for them?’” A Smart Waste City asks, not only how can we make it easier to dispose of waste, but what is the best was to collect it monitor it and process it. They ask, how can that waste be transferred to exactly the right company at exactly the right time, to process it, in the most sustainable, closed loop way, rather than sending to land fill. They ask, how can count waste in real time. 24/7.

The role of IOT in waste collection and recovery

Waste generation is a concern for modern societies due to both the service cost of waste collection, and the environmental issues of landfills. As we experience new emerging infrastructure and capabilities offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) , there have been many promising solutions arising in Australia for handling waste collection and recovery operations.

Smart bins

Australian companies are world leaders in the development of IoT waste management technologies such as smart bins, which can report how full they are, and fill-level sensors that can be fitted to existing ‘dumb’ bins.

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BinSense provides a simple autonomous patented method for detecting contamination in recycling bins which enables the prevention of contaminated waste transferring from the residential bin to the collection truck. This ensures the collection truck remains bellow the required levels for recycling waste to be exported or recycled locally.

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