Smart City: Cloud-Based Waste Management

Jul 6, 2017

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Waste management represents a key challenge, especially for big cities.

IoT already provides helpful solutions. In many cities in the world, there are waste bins equipped with sensors that are connected to the Internet.

As soon as a container is full, a notification is transmitted to the central office. Depending on a fill-level of the bins, it is possible to calculate the optimal routes for waste collection vehicles.

How does it work?

Smart waste bins are equipped with special sensors. They are securely installed into the cap of the bin. An integrated antenna enables a wireless transmission even from metal waste containers. The ultrasonic lobe of sensors enables data gathering on the fill-level of the bin.

Due to auto-tuning function, the sensor sends signals with varying intensity, scans different parameter settings, and calculates the best signal power.

Thus, the measuring automatically adjusts itself to constantly changing shapes and types of waste.

The bins are made of robust materials providing resistance to water, chemicals, and temperature.

For example, smart sensors identify temperature and send an alarm signal when it is above 85 °C.  So the fire department can timely react, and prevent further spreading of fire.

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Optimized Routing

The main purpose of the system is to avoid unnecessary routes of waste trucks. That’s why sensors are equipped with SIM cards providing a wireless connection. The measurements of the fill-level are performed in desired intervals. The collected data is periodically transmitted to the Cloud. Finally, a specially developed software enables data evaluation and visualization. For example, the waste containers can be indicated on a display on a city map.

The most optimal waste disposal intervals can be more exactly determined, as the technology allows calculating the variation of a fill-level in particular bins.

Concurrently, an optimal route is directly transmitted to the navigation system of every truck.

RFID tags additionally attached to the bins provide traceability of waste streams and enable operators to monitor sorting quality, track the weight of contents, etc. It helps municipalities to optimize waste collection speed and integrity.

Furthermore, the technology of smart waste containers allows to reduce costs, emissions and traffic obstruction, prevent overfilling and dirt around the bin and minimize odour emission.


Smart cities will require constant innovations. The IoT-based waste management solutions provide municipalities with a great opportunity to decrease costs, optimize resources usage, and reduce CO2 emissions.



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