Billions of tons of waste are produced globally each year, with around half of the trash ending up in landfills, and only a small percentage being properly recycled. This represents an immense ecological issue that continues to pollute the environment, accelerate global warming, and harm human health.
To reduce these negative effects, waste management companies are striving to find new and creative methods, and emerging technologies may just present the ideal solution. With that in mind, here are just some of the most innovative waste management technologies being used at the moment that could aid in building a more sustainable future:
Smarter waste bins
While recycling is an important part of eco-friendly living, we can’t always rely on individuals to sort their waste properly. To reduce the problem of incorrect waste sorting, smart bins were developed. They use object recognition based on artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically sort recyclable materials into separate and correct compartments.
Many smart bins also have the ability to control fill levels and compress waste when necessary. These waste bins take the human factor out of the sorting procedure and make material processing easier and faster for recycling facilities, thus showing how technology can contribute to environmental sustainability in a positive way.
Waste level sensors
Most businesses and homes across the world rely on local waste collection services for weekly trash disposal, but routine services aren’t always the most effective solution for all needs. To combat this issue, many American companies are installing waste level sensors into their bins and dumpsters.
These sensors can gather and store information on fill levels, enabling businesses to accurately predict when and how often their bins have to be emptied, and thus reduce unnecessary trips to landfills. If utilized correctly, waste level sensors could stop public containers from overspilling and contaminating the environment as well.
Electronic waste is common in this modern world, but is also one type of trash that is rarely disposed of properly. Unfortunately, these inappropriate practices can be quite harmful to both the environment and human health. For that reason, organizations all around the world are now starting e-waste recycling programs that can accept and possibly reimburse old electronic devices.
Innovative companies are taking this process one step further and developing e-waste recycling kiosks as well. These stands are designed to accept different types of electronic waste and ensure it is properly recycled, in many cases also providing cash for given devices.
Better waste chutes
Across Australia, even chute systems are getting an upgrade. For instance, every industrial waste chute in Sydney is robust, durable, and highly technological. These chute systems are designed to be user-friendly and convenient, coming with features such as odor-release vents, air deodorization solutions for freshness, and anti-combustible materials for fire safety.
They can also be designed and installed according to customized client needs, thus offering suitable solutions for managing nearly all types of waste, including recyclable items. Not only does this aid in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene on the premises where waste chutes are installed, but it also helps to support sustainability efforts.
In an effort to minimize drives to and from the landfill and increase the efficiency of collection, manufacturers are now creating solar-powered waste compactors as well. As the trash accumulates, these bins have the ability to compress waste in order to increase overall capacity, consequently holding significantly larger volumes of trash compared to conventional bins.
While the trash is being accumulated, data regarding fill times is also collected and transmitted to streamline the process of collection. The solar panels aid in reducing energy consumption and making the entire waste management procedure greener and more sustainable, too.
AI Recycling robots
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t only helpful in the collection and sorting processes; it can aid in streamlining the daily operations of recycling centers as well. As the sector continues to face labor shortages and struggles to keep up with demand, AI-powered robots can pick up the slack. Designed to recognize and sort recyclables accurately, these robots can help to increase overall efficiency while minimizing the need for human employees.
This can solve the current workforce issue and even allow recycling facilities to save money in the long run, along with diverting valuable recyclable materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.
The world is becoming more digitized, and waste management companies are slowly adopting new technological solutions as well. As research and development continue to be funded, waste management will likely become an even more streamlined and sustainable process in the future.
By Mike Johnston