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Application of Digital technology in waste management

Waste management is the gateway for building sustainable and livable cities. But, it remains a challenge and an unmitigated risk for many developing nations and cities. 

Let’s understand the key factors that have led to waste management going out of control and becoming a global issue:  

1) Overconsumption of goods (whether it is food, products, technology, electricity, fossil fuels, etc)

2) Overpopulation

3) Education levels & Awareness 

4) Economic status & Living standards 

5) Poor management of waste 

6) Poor execution of government policies & regulations regarding waste disposal 

7) Agriculture & Farming malpractices 

8) Rare cases: nuclear accidents or radiation spills 

9) Dumping of excess waste in water bodies and other natural habitats 

10) Human wants VS Needs 

Some hard-hitting facts that exist today due to lack of proper waste management planning:  

1) The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that about 3 percent of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) in 2010 came from mismanagement of solid wastes, mostly landfills (municipal solid waste).

2) About 2 billion people globally are still “deprived” of solid waste collection facilities, with the most severe cases observed in low/middle-income nations.

3) Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are dumped into US water. While children make up 10% of the world’s population, over 40% of the global burden of disease falls on them. More than 3 million children under age five die annually from environmental factors.

4) More than 1.3 billion in India generate the highest amount of waste in the world. By 2050, India is projected to produce substantially more waste than any other country in the world, including China, the most populous country presently. 

Waste management planning and recycling is a task that involves logistical planning, scientific knowledge, and an understanding to balance the environment and cost-effectiveness of the planning process. Not to mention, how important is it for businesses and companies to perform their role using the greenest ways possible. 

It cannot be denied that waste management is a global issue that needs innovative solutions. Many waste management companies and organizations deploy various strategies to curb this problem. The intervention of technology in waste management planning has yielded promising results. Let’s study some of these technological advancements in detail: 

1) Invention of ‘Smart Waste Bins’ 

This innovative waste bin helps people track their daily disposal habits and optimize trash pickups. They have in-built sensors that can detect trash levels and notify users when they are full. 

Smart waste bins in some cases also have interactive screens to help users manage their waste better, making them more mindful of their waste. 

2) Converting ‘waste’ into ‘energy’

The ability to turn waste into energy is one of the biggest innovations when it comes to waste management. Now, a category of waste in landfills can be converted into energy, by using machines known as ‘digesters’ that take waste that is converted into biogas and this biogas is later converted into energy. 

This waste management technique is also known as plasma gasification. In this process, plasma is used to heat waste to extreme temperatures leading to the conversion of gases like hydrogen, a sustainable fuel. 

3) Innovation in recycling precious metals 

Precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and iridium are crucial in the automotive and chemical sectors. Using technology to recycle these precious metals can help society meet rising demands from these metals, instead of mining for new ore. 

Using a methodology like plasma arc recycling, where recovery of the precious metal from a vehicle or other object using a plasma torch, can help give new life to the metal. 

4) Pneumatic Waste Collection

This innovation in waste management can help cities reduce their dependence on fossil-fuel-powered trucks for trash collection. In this method of waste collection, pneumatic tubes powered by air compressors are used to create vacuum suction to empty garbage bins. Since there are no trucks involved, greenhouse gas emissions aren’t a concern anymore. Pneumatic waste collection is also faster than traditional disposal methods, giving waste management plants more time to sort rubbish.

5) Using AI to sort and segregate waste 

AI applications like machine vision can help automated systems differentiate between different kinds of waste. They can then sort it more effectively and provide insights into areas’ disposal practices. Companies can then ensure they’re recycling all they can and avoid environmentally hazardous mistakes.

6) Anaerobic Digestion 

This interesting waste management solution involves micro-organisms breaking down waste matter in landfills. Anaerobic digestion as a process can deal with organic waste and providing gas-based, renewable energy simultaneously.

7) Cloud-Based Solutions & Applications developed by waste management companies 

Waste management companies have developed cloud-based solutions and applications that can help businesses, residents, aggregators, and recyclers address their waste in a more effective, environmental-friendly manner. 

This technological advancement in waste management can lead to a sustainable environment and the enabling of a circular economy. 

When it comes to solving waste management problems using technology, there are plenty of solutions available in the market today. But to make sure they are the right fit for your business/organization/community and are bullet-proof, it is important to turn to consultants with expertise when it comes to these matters. 

Backed with years of experience, in-depth market research, and knowledge, understanding of concepts of sustainability and the latest developments in technological innovations, has led to professionals at HPG Consulting being hired by companies, businesses, and organizations to help them understand, plan, and effectively manage waste.  

Right from inception to implementation, the waste management planning consultants at HPG believe in applying a holistic approach, where in-depth analysis is done to understand waste generation patterns, waste collection, and disposal methodologies. The waste management planning consultants at HPG provide their clients with better waste collection practices, transportation systems, materials recovery facilities, composting facilities, waste-to-energy plants, and landfills, keeping in mind present and future requirements while complying with government regulations.

Become future-ready when it comes to waste management planning by connecting with an HPG consultant today. They are truly the best minds in the business. 

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