Hero Subpage LRL (main)


05 Jan 2021

Why Digitalization is Key to the Waste Industry


There’s no denying that we live in a highly uncertain and unpredictable world. And our ability to adapt and rapidly react to changing circumstances is more important now than ever before. Driving faster and more effective waste management decisions starts with digitalizing your operations and ensuring a data-oriented approach is ingrained in everything that you do. Because at the end of the day, your decisions are only as strong as your data.

Transform Data into Insights

Sensor technology has come a long way. Today, it’s considered a highly accurate, robust, and long-term solution for smart waste management, empowering you to extract data from your operations and transform them into actionable insights. The system captures data on fill levels, temperatures, movements, and other factors and applies machine learning algorithms to help you understand how people generate waste. This enables you to optimize your processes, provide better value to your customers and citizens, and ultimately drive efficient decision-making.

Resource Optimization the Data-Driven Way

Over 80% of the world’s waste is collected at the wrong time. We are incurring unnecessary costs and carbon emissions from early collections on the one hand and leaving customers dissatisfied and cities unclean due to late collections on the other. And with approx. 8 million pickups in the average medium-sized European city, even the smallest improvement to waste services could make a huge difference to both your wallet and the environment.

This was the case in San Francisco, where they succeeded in making the city cleaner without increasing costs, all by digitally transforming waste services. Thanks to sensors, the city had a clear overview of bins and could track their fill levels. This access to dynamic information meant that they could inform haulers to service bins as soon as waste levels began to reach a critical point. In fact, San Francisco managed to reduce overflowing bins by 80%, and they almost entirely eliminated waste complaints from the general public.

Respond Rapidly with Real-Time Data

Real-time data helps you react fast to new waste situations and fluctuations in demand. In March 2020, when most of Europe went into lockdown, one capital city was able to utilize sensor technology to quickly respond to their citizens’ changing needs. Already 10 days after the beginning of the lockdown, the municipality was able to spot a decrease in waste and reduce their services by 30%, saving around half a million pickups.

Improving Waste and Recycling Programs

Waste and environmental policies are subject to increasing complex and changing requirements. You may suddenly be facing the implementation of vast recycling programs and feel completely in the dark about how to reach your new environmental targets.

As West London Waste Authority (WLWA) has experienced, data derived from smart sensors can help you understand the impact of your recycling campaigns and programs, identify areas of improvement, and uncover new ways of engaging people. Data from sensors in bins around West London are collected on a granular level and translated into various parameters such as a recycling participation rates and ratio of bins per apartments. This enables the local authority to investigate correlations and gain a deeper understanding of residents’ behaviour and needs. In this case, WLWA found that recycling participation rates were low in areas with a high number of apartments per bin and were able to react by accommodating residents’ needs for more bins in densely populated areas.

A Transparency Transformation

Data from sensor-based solutions create transparency, empowering you to make smarter and more insightful decisions. It makes getting closer to your customers and citizens easier, especially when implementing new waste and recycling programs, as you will be able to gather fast, honest feedback on the impact and efficiency of your campaigns.

With real-time data, you can move away from basing service optimizations on historical trends and be better positioned to act on unexpected and unpredictable changes in people’s needs and behaviour. Embedding digitalization in the waste industry means more scope for optimizations that deliver real value to customers and citizen, both in monetary and environmental terms.

Want to hear more from Nordsense about how we can make the world’s waste collection greener, cleaner and smarter with sensor technology?

Watch the RWM Digital Spotlight: Digital Transformation on-demand now to hear from industry experts including Dina Widd, Customer Success Director at Nordsense, and learn how sensor technology is helping to maximise the efficiency of resource management.

"Don’t miss out on how some of Europe’s largest cities, including West London, have optimized their waste operations with the Nordsense solution. Dina will be talking about how the Nordsense solution can provide data insights not only for waste collection but also recycling programs and give an overview of the citizen’s participation rate.”