We’ve seen technology swiftly developing across all sectors in recent years, although one sector seems to have fallen behind somewhat. The waste management sector has been a little more reluctant to embrace new technologies, relying on traditional methods for even for communication and booking.
But there are so many new technological advancements in the waste management industry, from how the waste itself is dealt with, to how firms book and order waste management services.
Making waste collection automatic
According to Greener Ideal, automated waste collection is growing in use as a means of reducing pollution and lowering traffic issues. Essentially, the process would see an underground network of tubes linking homes and designated outlets to a waste collection centre. People would have a bin for general waste, organic waste, and paper waste, and would sort their rubbish and recycling as is standard today. When the bins reach a certain limit, the bottom would open to “flush” the waste out through vacuum tubes. No more putting the bins out!
It’s not entirely new technology, as the system has been used in Disney World and in parts of Europe. There are plans to make it more mainstream but has been held up at points by concerns over larger items of waste not being able to go into the automated waste collection outlets.
For both waste and fuel: anaerobic digestion
There are two issues at the forefront of global concern — the problem of sustainable fuel supplies and the issue of rising waste. Landfills cannot sustain us forever, and the worry about greenhouse gasses has pushed the need for solutions to both problems. With anaerobic digestion, we may have found one answer for both questions.
The technology could be one of the best developments for the waste management sector in many years, says Waste Management World. The process sees waste matter being broken down by microorganisms in an oxygen-less environment. The remains left over can be used as fertilizer, and the gas it produces is used for energy. The process is an improvement upon previous methods used to create compost from organic waste. Anaerobic digestion has the potential to deal with our organic waste, while at the same time, providing gas-based energy. Plus, as humans will always create organic waste, the energy anaerobic digestion creates is classed as renewable energy.
The technology doesn’t come cheap though, with anaerobic digestion needing large tanks and process vessels in order to work on a commercial scale.
Enzyme and oils
Akin to anaerobic digestion, enzymes are being implemented to create biodiesel from cooking oil. Novozymes has launched Eversa, an enzymatic solution available for commercial use. The process can turn lower grade oils into biodiesel, which in turn, lowers the cost of raw materials for biodiesel producers. In addition to converting used cooking oil as a raw material, Eversa gets rid of the requirement of sodium methoxide, which is one of the most hazardous chemicals used in biodiesel plants. Removing such hazardous substances is a benefit to both human and environmental safety.
Use of waste management apps
By using apps, the waste management sector has started to benefit from the technology, which is helping people to address their waste management requirements in a far more environmentally friendly way.
Skip hire with SiteBuddy
The UK’s leading outsourced waste management and recycling services provider, Reconomy, has developed the SiteBuddy app. The app allows businesses to hire, off-hire, exchange, or reorder a range of skips, from wait and load skip hire to hazardous waste skips. The app also allows users to respond to any on-site issues or project developments quickly and efficiently – without any delay from phone calls or waiting to book an order. It works alongside Reconomy’s online portal too, which will store a full audit trail.
Waste less food with Too Good To Go
In order to reduce food waste from restaurants, as well as tackle the issue of people going hungry, the Too Good To Go app was created. The app that allows people to buy food that restaurants are going to throw away (excess and surplus at the end of the working day) for cheap. The app is currently active in eight European countries, and plans to expand further. The app is connected with over 5,000 stores, 3 million users, and claims to have saved 2.5 million meals’ worth of surplus food.
You can download the app from Google Play and the Apple App Store.