How would you feel if there was no basic cleanliness and people just threw garbage wherever they wanted to? Pretty angry, I guess! And you should feel angry. Cleanliness is an important factor in a healthy environment. In our schools, we have been taught cleanliness and environmental awareness activities since the start. However, due to the increasing population, garbage management has decreased and the pollution levels have increased a lot.
Nowadays, garbage issues have become a serious thing in maintaining the cleanliness of the city. Many of the city areas are still without public garbage bins so the garbage is thrown at the roadside or at the corners in the locality, which creates ugliness at the corners. Due to no garbage bins, garbage is thrown in the small water reservoirs or the drainage water which creates blockages. In the rainy season, these blockages damage the water flowing system and then water overflows through the roads. In some areas the overflowed water blocks all the ways of transport or small floods within the city are generated. The open garbage containers pose problems for the people living in that vicinity as it becomes the breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes, germs, etc. which spreads numerous diseases. These open garbage areas create unhygienic conditions in those areas.
In many of these areas, the garbage bins are not cleaned at regular intervals which means that no proper maintenance is kept in cleaning the bins. To avoid this, smart waste management and monitoring systems should be adopted. And for the adoption of these smart systems, there should be a paradigm shift towards the “Internet of things” i.e. IoT technology. This will help in optimizing the garbage management system and also in reducing the consumption of the fuel by the current system. Some of the projects on smart garbage management and monitoring system have been implemented using IoT technology and has been proved to be very effective for environmental issues. These projects are mainly based on IoT devices such as Ultrasonic sensors, M2M technologies, smart trash cans and much more. Now, let’s learn more about these projects!
1. Smart Garbage Bins
The Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping and touching our lives in every sphere. IoT based garbage monitoring system is an innovative project idea for maintaining the clean environment of the city. The smart garbage bins have Ultrasonic Sensors placed on the lid which detects the garbage level in the bins. By this, the garbage bins can be monitored and the monitoring information can be obtained through the webpage. The level of the garbage is compared with the depth of the bins. This system comprises of an AVR family Microcontroller, Wi-fi modem, LCD display along with a buzzer & also a 12V transformer associated with it.
The Wi-fi modem is used to send the data. The garbage status will be shown on the webpage. The level of the garbage collected in the bins will be shown on the LCD display. The webpage is quite useful, as the information is displayed in graphical representation & the garbage level will be displayed in different colors. The bins have been set with a limit after the garbage overflows the set limit the buzzer gets pressed which further sends alert to the user to empty the bin. The graphical representation is provided by the platform of IoT Gecko web development.
2. Smart solid waste management system
One of the IoT based garbage monitoring & management system project is being tested successfully in India’s one of the smart city. Ahmedabad is known as GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City). A smart solid waste management system is put in place using Swiss Technology where the garbage will be disposed of with minimum human interference. The waste will be recycled to make organic manure & generate power which will be consumed in GIFT City itself.
The solid waste is collected from the towers & sent to the collection center using vacuum suction pipes about 2km away from the buildings. The waste will travel through the underground pipes at a speed of 110-140 km/hr. The speed & the direction of the waste will be monitored & controlled by a fully computerized console. “A trial run of this project was held at GIFT City & was successful and further improvement will be done”, said by Managing Director of GIFT City Ramakant Jha. He also said that ” The organic waste will be incinerated using plasma technology”. This incinerator will hold the capacity of 50 tons per day which will gradually increase to 400 tons per day as the occupancy increases & the energy generated by this incinerator will be used to generate Thermal Energy for the consumption within the city. The IoT sensors used in garbage monitoring & management system has been beneficial in all ways of time & fuel consumption.
Now let’s see the role of IoT sensors in the Garbage Monitoring Systems.
Role of IoT sensors in the Garbage Monitoring System
Many cities in the world have implemented IoT sensor projects for garbage management & monitoring system. One of these cities is Barcelona, Spain, which has sensors placed on the lids of the recycling bins which sends an alert after the bin is full. Waste management companies should address the environmental concerns which improve efficiency and reducing costs from initial collection to processing & landfills management.
The use of sensors can help in all these areas, automating tasks such as monitoring & sorting waste. Sensors & lights to indicate when trash & recycling bins are full & can result in cost savings. After garbage collection, it is sorted at the central locations & valuable materials are extracted using sensors at the post collection facilities to determine to refuse types. These sensors can sort paper, plastics, valuable metals, etc. as demonstrated by TOMRA, a provider of sensor-based sorting solutions. This reduces the cost of waste sent to the landfills and also to reuse/recycle all material or it can be used as a fuel.
Sensors can manage the landfills through perimeter sensors that monitor & ensure surrounding areas are with Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for groundwater contamination. This is how IoT technology has been innovative in waste management & monitoring system & also being helpful in generating energy & revenue which satisfies the phrase “Best from Waste”.