Revolutionising the waste industry

Revolutionising the waste industry

Andrew Crofts

Andrew Crofts, Sales Director at Enevo

When you start to look at the waste market, it’s huge, and pretty much untouched when it comes to technology.

There are millions of lift bins in the UK and hundreds of thousands of waste container’s but nobody has a clue what is happening inside them. Our sensors are going to revolutionise how the waste industry collects, what type of vehicles they use and what type of material they collect.

Back in January, Enevo began working with a local council in the UK who has around 9,000 bins and is also Europe’s largest local authority. The problem facing this council was that it had no idea when their bins filled up, particularly during seasonal variations where the weather can change how a bin behaves.

Without sensors, it’s very difficult to build up a picture of what collection frequencies you need, so councils err on the side of caution to cover the highest footfall. This results in overly cautious collection frequencies that are higher than needed.

Sensors and predictive analytics

Our company, Enevo, embeds waste containers with waterproof; fill level sensors that work in harsh environmental conditions. We also use ultrasonic, sonar technology and temperature motion sensors, so there’s a lot of smart software in our sensors.

By using adverse algorithms to help define collection patterns we can not only measure the containers and their different shapes, we can also start to predict a container’s fill levels.

We take 30 days worth of data and we start to build a picture of how the container is behaving. From there we can start to build performance data and provide forward plans for collection teams. Early tests resulted in a 60% reduction in collection days and based on these results, it was decided to roll out our sensors further across the city and conduct more tests.

IoT and recycling

Now we are focusing on recycling containers. Typically when a council has dual use bins – one side general waste and one side general recycling – what tends to happen is quite high contamination rates.

throwing a plastic bottle to recycle containerWhen the general waste bin fills up, people then start to put waste into the recycling container so part of the project we’re working on is looking at both sides of waste management – recycling and general. If we get those collections right, we can reduce contamination and increase recycling.

The data this council receives from the sensors helps plan all their collection schedules. It also allows them to look at their daily resources and how to allocate it, particularly weekend and Bank holiday collections.

We are constantly reviewing our technology and ways we can improve it to help the waste industry, from different types of containers and markets.

At the moment we have an ‘uncracked’ waste market, so we are looking to secure a sizable percentage of that and keep moving on from there.

Andrew Crofts is the Sales Director at Enevo UK Ltd. You can follow Enevo on Twitter @Enevo and Andrew Crofts @CleanCityCentre.  Don’t forget to follow us @IoTUKNews

Andrew Crofts
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