Over the last couple of years, the waste management industry experienced a genuine surge. The reasons behind this trend are as genuine as they are numerous. First and foremost, our society keeps putting out more goods that, despite all the best efforts produce more waste. Second, this situation is not going unnoticed and the entire business sector is making huge steps in a sustainable and more eco-friendly direction.
Because of that waste management sector finds itself on a true precipice where workload and market demand are constantly stacking up while new solutions and waste management methods are in high demand.
Fortunately, the tech sector is doing its best to fill in this gap and push this industry in an exciting new direction. Well, let us take a look then at some of the new tech solutions brewing on the horizon.
Robotics and automation
The process of waste management inevitably entails a lot of repetitive work that, if performed by human workers, causes dismal drops in productivity and overall process quality. Fortunately, the latest-gen waste management tools are becoming increasingly competent when handling these chores as well as capable of engaging even in some more refined processes like waste sorting and separation. At the moment, these tasks are handled by RFID tagging but the latest advancements in computer vision tech that allows devices to visually identify types of waste make this issue obsolete.
Internet of Things (IoT)
If you are not familiar with the terms, IoT describes the technology that presents a family of devices capable of picking up environmental info, communicating with other, similar devices, and using the received information for independent processing and adjusting the behavior. Being so heavily rooted in the mechanical and reparative processes, waste management truly finds great use of this tech allowing the tools used in the sorting, separation, and processing duties to achieve a greater level of autonomy and become more active members in the duty of waste management workflow regulation.
Innovative waste disposal technologies
The process of effective waste management starts with an effective and though-out waste disposal system. Up until recently, this fact presented a huge missed opportunity since waste management companies tried to deal only with the outcomes rather than the causes of the problem. But, as of recently, we have seen a growing number of waste consulting services offering innovative solutions like chute systems and waste stream designing that drastically optimize the later stages of waste handling. Since these novel ideas are available in residential and industrial areas, the results are even more effective
Artificial intelligence and process planning
By now, we have seen that the modern waste management process features a lot of small moving pieces that require a tremendous level of attention and micro-managing capabilities that can’t really be pulled off by human workers. That is why Artificial Intelligence takes an increasingly important role in the process. What’s great about putting supervision of these endless processes under the control of the AI is that this tech is not only capable of dealing with endless workloads with much greater speed and efficiency but also ensures stronger repeatability, quality control, and, finally, risk management.
Of course, cutting-edge AI shows its potential the most when it has an opportunity to work with large and structured sets of data. Keeping in mind that modern waste management processes are mostly based on digital and IoT-powered infrastructure, immediate management becomes a breeze. However, modern AI is also capable of breaking down and analyzing countless other external big data sources. That allows waste management companies to engage in very advanced long-term and strategic planning, more comprehensive market analysis, and stronger insight into internal processes.
Augmented and virtual reality
The IoT-powered tools and equipment we have covered in the previous section are not only capable of using their sensors for self-regulation. Thanks to the technologies like AI and VR, the feedback we get from these tools can be easily presented to workers on and even off-site in a simple, streamlined, and transparent manner. This way the employees are becoming capable of doing their job with great awareness of local and remote processes, environmental hazards, pending tasks, and other critical factors. As a result, they are capable of handling these chores in a safe and far more efficient manner.
Refined recycling technologies
In the previous sections, we have cited waste disposal as the first step in the waste management process. And now, for the very end, we would like to mention recycling which makes the final piece of this puzzle. With that in mind, it should be pointed out that recycling technology has recently made leaps and bounds in terms of the overall process efficiency but also the materials that can be reused and repurposed. All these things bring us one step closer to a fully circular economy where the waste management industry is an even more important contributor to the global business outlook.
We hope these couple of examples gave you a general idea about the most disruptive tech trends currently going on in the waste management industry. And as we can see, this previously novel sector is now firing up on all cylinders. That is perfectly understandable since in the sustainable economy we all strive to achieve management making a critical part not only of the waste disposal but also the production process. One thing’s for sure – the best days of the waste management industry are still yet to come.