Hot Tips (Waste Management)
Smart Trash, Smart Campus
- By Emma Skalka
- February 1st, 2017
What better place to implement smart
waste management than an institution of
higher learning? Cities and campuses across
the U.S. are enjoying the many benefits of
intelligent litter and recycling receptacles.
Individuals charged with waste control are
now able to employ a network of connected
receptacles and software that enables collection,
planning and routing that is substantially more
efficient. Smart enough, in fact, to save an estimated
20 to 40 percent on litter and recycling collection
expenses. Knowing that a large university
can easily generate 9,000,000 pounds of waste in
a year, the savings potential is hard to ignore.
Traditional static systems allow for litter receptacles
to overfill before they are collected —
an aesthetic and olfactory nuisance, for sure —
while others that sit empty are collected anyway.
Smart litter receptacles provide a new approach,
allowing you to allocate resources only where and
when they are needed, not only saving time, but
also decreasing fuel costs, carbon footprints and
unsightly waste overflows.
Using GPS and other sensors, smart receptacles
can monitor and transmit fill level, temperature,
weight, location and more to cloud-based
portals. Monitoring containers provides a holistic
view of an area’s trash and recycling status while
improving landfill diversion rates.
To maintain aesthetics, some sensors can
be hidden within a litter receptacle or recycling
station, which provides the added benefit
of preventing tampering. Sensors should also
be built to remain reliable and accurate even
in harsh environmental conditions to meet
the challenges receptacles face in high-use
environments such as a campus. Along with
smart design, factors such as durability are
important to consider in choosing a smart
waste management system.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.
Emma Skalka is vice president of Sales and Marketing at Victor Stanley in Dunkirk, MD.