Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Managing Hazardous Waste

Researchers at Staffordshire University have developed an RFID system to ensure contractors dispose of plasterboard in designated landfills.
By Mark Roberti
Jun 01, 2012—Each year, the United Kingdom produces 1 million metric tons of plasterboard waste. Only about 7 percent of this is recycled, and the rest ends up in landfills. But the gypsum in plasterboard—sometimes called gypsum board or sheetrock—can mix with organic waste to produce hydrogen sulfide gas, a colorless and poisonous mixture that can cause significant health problems.

In November 2008, the U.K. government began requiring contractors to separate plasterboard from other waste materials, so the plasterboard can be disposed of at one of four "mono-cell" landfills. But currently, there is no way to monitor whether contractors are complying with these regulations. Tony Atkins, a member of Applied Computing in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology at Staffordshire University, and colleagues Lizong Zhang and Hongnian Yu, have developed a system for tracking plasterboard to monitor compliance.

Photo: Countrystyle Group

The system involves tagging shipments of plasterboard for a new building or one that is being renovated, to track how much plasterboard is used. Plasterboard waste—either "off-cuts" from new construction or old plasterboard that is removed—is loaded into containers equipped with passive ultrahigh-frequency RFID tags. When these are filled, the system estimates the volume and weight of the waste, based on the container size. That tonnage is compared with the estimated waste, based on an analysis of the building's blueprint and amount of new plasterboard brought to the site. If there is less plasterboard removed than consumed, it might indicate that some of the plasterboard being removed was disposed of improperly.

GPS would be used to track the shipment to ensure the waste is hauled to the correct disposal site. (The process of filling the container with plasterboard could be videotaped, and the RFID transponder could store a link to the video on the Web.)

"Our system lets you calculate the volume and tonnages, and do the track-and-trace to show that you are a responsible contractor and have disposed of this waste properly," Atkins says. "This is not a requirement today, but it could become a requirement because the amount of construction waste continues to increase every year."

Atkins envisions using ant colony optimization—algorithms that determine the most efficient route given a set of variables—to find the most efficient and cost-effective way to truck containers of plasterboard waste to recycling facilities or special landfills. This would help reduce the cost burden on contractors.

"We have talked to a recycling plant in this area about our systems," Atkins says. "Ideally, it should be adopted by the companies that produce the plasterboard. We plan to see if they are interested in adopting our system. If legislation changes to require proof that plasterboard has been disposed of properly, contractors might be more interested in using it. The technology already exists to make it feasible."
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 462 words and 1 page. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco