Municipal waste collection follows a routine that has been established over the years. Household, plastic and paper waste is collected following a routine that’s based on the average waste production of a city or a district. But in reality our bins are sometimes only half filled, while at another week they overflow.
Collecting sensor data and optimizing collection routes
Overflowing waste bins are annoying for us, and emptying half full bins is a waste of time and money for municipal services. But thanks to M2M waste bins can actually give notice just when it’s the right time to be emptied. In a first step, every bin has to be equipped with a sensor that measures the filling level. The sensor also has a cellular modem to transfer the measured data via a mobile network to a cloud platform. Here, all data from the city’s waste bins can be collected, analyzed and visualized. Based on this data, optimized collection route for the garbage trucks can be calculated according to the filling levels.
Smart waste management is already established in quite a number of cities. The benefits are obvious: Daily man hours and personnel costs can be reduced, what saves the cities money. And reduced usage of trucks has a positive effect on air pollution and vehicle wear. Furthermore, end customers benefit from paying only for their actual waste production – and thus are motivated to produce less waste – and also avoid overflowing waste bins.
Low power and longevity
Deutsche Telekom supports the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology Narrowband IoT, which is the perfect solution for a broader development of a smart waste management in the cities, as this only requires a low amount of data to be transferred in relatively long time intervals. Here, NB-IoT technology enables long battery lifetime, so that a sensor can potentially work for years unattended.
Low costs and strong propagation
In addition, one of NB-IoT’s features is deep indoor penetration and a strong propagation in order to improve coverage for devices. NB-IoT also targets low costs and therefore addresses use cases such as smart waste management, where large numbers of devices throughout the city may be connected. And with NB-IoT being deployed in operator managed licensed spectrum and globally standardized, cities can rely on guaranteed service availability, reliability and LTE-based security.