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IoT Solution Tracks Waste Volume and Conditions in Bins

Sensoneo says its ultrasonic-based system has helped companies reduce their costs by an average of 30 percent, by reducing labor hours and fuel consumption otherwise required to empty bins that may not yet need service.
By Claire Swedberg
May 30, 2018

A Slovakian technology company has developed a smart waste-management solution leveraging sensors in waste bins. The system, provided by Sensoneo, enables cities and waste operators to better manage their services based on each bin's waste levels and conditions. It consists of ultrasonic-based Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that use wireless transmissions, such as LoRa, Sigfox, cellular or narrowband IoT (NB-IOT). The solution is currently being piloted by several companies throughout the United States, and has been deployed at dozens of sites around the world.

For waste-management companies, collecting waste from large public or commercial bins has traditionally been difficult to closely control. Sometimes, the bins do not contain enough waste to make the collection worthwhile, but the vehicles arrive onsite anyway. In other cases, the bins may be full long before a scheduled collection takes place.

With regard to recyclables, there is an incentive for companies to collect the discarded material while it is still high enough in quality to sell. But businesses rarely know when a bin might have been filled, and incidents sometimes happen, such as a lid blowing open and rain damaging or destroying the recyclable materials (cardboard, for instance) inside the bin.

Sensoneo is a spinoff from IT technology company BrainIT. The waste-management solution was released four years ago, and the company was launched independently in March 2017. The technology is now in use at 60 locations throughout 19 countries, according to Martin Basila, the firm's founder and CTO.

The solution, Basila says, was developed to improve the efficiency of waste collection. This allows service providers to understand which bins require collection, as well as when and where, and to organize their vehicle dispatching and routes accordingly.

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