Sustainability is a major challenge in many companies. Technological progress and digital solutions can simplify processes and optimize workflows. Especially in the waste management sector, smart waste is a groundbreaking solution for overcoming a range of challenges.
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Waste management logistics is an essential part of all communities – villages, small towns and large cities alike – and makes an important contribution to the cityscape: from waste management in private dwellings, business premises, and event venues through to the trash cans located in public spaces. The constant population growth, especially in metropolitan regions, results in an increasing volume of waste, which in turn puts pressure on waste management logistics companies. Yet strong seasonal fluctuations or shifts in volume – as recently triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and society’s radical changes in consumption and working habits – also pose challenges for waste management companies. In addition, staff shortages, particularly among drivers, further aggravate the situation in the sector.
Definition: What is smart waste?
smart waste is a digital solution for the conventional method of emptying of waste disposal containers. Based on sensor data, the fill level and other parameters such as vehicle data, efficient and dynamic route planning are monitored. The optimized routes save waste management companies unnecessary journeys, helping to reduce their costs.
Why must waste management become smart waste management?
Digitalization and sustainable disposal methods are important topics in waste management. smart waste management takes care of both aspects and solves many of the growing challenges.
Fluctuations in the waste management sector became very clear during the Covid-19 pandemic in particular. According to the Bundesverband der Deutschen Entsorgungs-, Wasser- und Rohstoffwirtschaft e. V. (German Federal Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Industry Association), 2020 demonstrated an increase – at times of up to 20% – in glass and light packaging waste from private households, while waste volumes from commerce, industry and trade either declined sharply or failed to materialize at all. Such fluctuations make it clear how important modern and flexible waste management logistics are for avoiding both overfilled waste containers and partially empty trips.
In addition to these central challenges in waste management logistics, there are increasing staff shortages. The need for qualified personnel with the appropriate driving licenses for waste vehicles in particular is great, as is the requirement for junior staff in general. Furthermore, sustainability, especially with regard to the environmental impact of the vehicles, is an essential aspect in waste management that should be further optimized.
Using smart sensor technology in waste containers and smart waste management software and infrastructure, waste collection vehicle routes and the best locations for waste containers can be planned more efficiently. Overfilled waste containers and unnecessary empty trips are now a thing of the past, and the systems offer even more advantages. Lufthansa Industry Solutions (LHIND) is the provider of just such a digital solution. It offers its customers comprehensive support, from needs analysis to selecting the ideal components and end devices, implementing the system, configuring it and connecting it to other customer systems, all the way to follow-up support and client-specific upgrades.