Integrating Technology with Waste Management

Integrating Technology with Waste Management

By Arif Amim

With the rapid growth rate of population and urbanization, the residential and industrial area increases concurrently. Due to this reason, the generation rate of Municipal Solid Waste is (MSW) is up surging day by day and it is becoming more and more complex to manage the MSW. To protect the urban environment and to ensure a clean and healthy globe, MSW management is now a priority. Now a days in many developing countries MSW is responsible for major public health and environmental concerns and has gained augmented political consciousness. It becomes a key subject and difficult task to the authorities responsible for MSW management. They are now finding solutions to monitor and manage the MSW efficiently. Though solid waste management is not an attractive job, but it is extremely significant for the continued existence of the communities.
The operational costs for the management of municipal solid waste have increased gradually over the last few years. Among the overall budget of solid waste management,80-95 percent of expenditure is needed for the collection, transfer and transport of the solid waste. Solid waste monitoring and management authorities are trying to find alternative solutions that can control SWM costs through a variety of new methods and structure implemented by modern technologies.
Proper cleaning intervals may provide a solution to this problem. But keeping a track of the status of the bin manually is a very difficult job. An answer to this problem is proposed in the form of a framework employing a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) that transmits information from the bin to the control station via a gateway to be stored in a database accessible by the user.
Most of the places also in Srinagar that I have seen, the garbage bins are not cleaned at proper time intervals which results in overflowing of garbage resulting in hygiene problems, land pollution ; also it creates ugliness to that place. This shows the need for a system that monitors the status of the garbage bin and provides information to the concerned authorities to manage the collection intervals for cleaning the bins.
A solution to this problem can be easily provided by proper and regular cleaning of the dustbins all around the city which will be taken care by municipal corporation. The system architecture uses GSM/GPRS communication technologies and a set of carefully chosen sensors to monitor the status of solid waste bins in real time. The system is composed of three tier structures such as lower, middle and upper tiers. The lower tier contains bin with sensor node installed in it to measure and transmit bin status to the next tier, the middle tier contains the gateway that stores and transmits bin data to control station and control station resides in the upper tier that stores and analyze the data for further using. An energy efficient sensing algorithm is also used in the first tier to collect the bin parameters. In this way, the system can help to minimize the operation costs and emissions by feeding the collected data to a decision support system for route optimization.

—The author is a student at the Birla institute of technology, MESRA. He can be reached at:


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