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Using Route Optimization & IoT Data in Waste Management

In Portland, Oregan, the city picked up more waste in 2020 than any other year on record: 3,000 tons, 50% more than the previous year. As a result of the pandemic, more people are at home which means an increase in residential waste. People also stopped being careful about how to dispose of their recycling during the pandemic. Philadelphia collected 20 percent more trash in 2020 than in 2019, but 34 percent less recycling, according to the city’s Streets Department.

As lockdowns ease, mounds of rubbish in public spaces and beauty spots have surged with the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy fearing a ‘littering epidemic’. As local governments scramble to deal with the increased litter and reduced budgets it’s clear that more intelligent smart city solutions in the field of waste management are needed.

Dedalo Cities

Dedalo Cities, an intelligent waste management platform built on CARTO, has been developed by CITD Engineering & Technologies, an engineering solutions provider with more than 20 years of experience.

Screenshot of Dedalo Cities

The platform allows cities to more effectively manage growing volumes of municipal waste leading to significant savings. Some features of the solution include:

  • Real-time management of waste
  • Optimization of container filling and recycling
  • Optimization of waste collection routes
  • Reduction of costs in waste collection
  • Scalable, robust, and secure intelligent solution
  • Environmental responsibility

Intelligent Waste Monitoring

The solution is able to analyze a city’s waste production by combining smart sensor information with an intelligent waste management system and a citizen app.

Smart sensors embedded within waste containers use ultrasound technology to measure fill levels several times a day which is then sent to the cloud based platform via the Internet of Things (Sigfox, NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, GPRS).

Screenshot of real-time dashboard in Dedalo Cities

An interactive dashboard gives waste managers detailed information on the container inventory including configuration, a live visualization of current fill levels, and fill level predictions. It is also able to provide notifications about fire and container interference along with citizen feedback. Citizens can provide this feedback with a mobile app which also provides directions to the nearest empty container.

Screenshot of container info dashboard in Dedalo Cities

Alongside real-time information, the dashboard allows historical information to be analyzed displaying an evolution of waste collection including an overall rating of the network status, fill level at time of collection, and time taken until collection.

Screenshot of historical container info dashboard in Dedalo Cities

Route Optimization

The final section of the platform allows for container pickup route optimization based on the IoT data gathered, along with predefined data relating to waste collection vehicles, warehouses, and landfills/incineration sites.

Screenshot of route optimization dashboard in Dedalo Cities

Operators are able to schedule routes from within the platform with drivers accessing them from within the controller navigation application. This allows each waste collection route to maximize use of resources (fleet, routes, and time) and minimize the costs involved.

Screenshot of route list dashboard in Dedalo Cities

This results in fewer kilometers traveled per kilogram of waste collected, enabling more efficient utilization of vehicle capacity and time. In turn, this minimizes the negative effects of waste collection within a city, including less noise and air pollution and a reduction in traffic.

Screenshot of route optimization dashboard in Dedalo Cities

Dedalo Cities, developed using the CARTO platform, can be seen in action in the video below:

About the author

Dan Rushton

Dan is the Content Marketing Manager at CARTO. Dan holds a Masters in Electronic Engineering with business experience in development, sales, training and marketing. Prior to joining CARTO, Dan was a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Apple.

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