Very soon, your waste dumpster may be sending you daily messages and communicating with you more regularly than some people you know.
It will tell you when it is empty, full, or if someone has just dumped an illegal load in the middle of the night.
The technology to make your waste containers smart fits in the palm of your hand. It is a wireless, remote fullness sensor that works in a similar way to a ship’s sonar, using ultrasound to “see” inside of your waste container to measure and forecast their fill-levels.
One of the players in this field, Enevo, is currently working with numerous cities, universities and properties throughout the U.S. Great Forest has partnered with them in the D.C. region to test the system out in a pilot program.
Smarter bins mean smarter data, which mean smarter decisions. This could change the way we all manage waste and recycling.
“It is rare that something this exciting comes along in this industry. We are thrilled by the right-sizing and metrics reporting capabilities provided by sensors like the one from Enevo. We already have multiple clients interested in installing the sensors on their FEL/RL containers, once they receive the hauler approval,” says David Troust, V.P. of Business Development at Great Forest.
The rapid fill alert is a nice bonus especially for buildings in a metro area, where illegal dumping sometimes takes place. While this is usually resolved by locking the containers, the sensor will offer an added measure of accountability.
Tracking the fullness of dumpsters is something that Great Forest currently accomplishes using a simple but innovative low-tech alternative called Open Top Container (OTC) Logs to gauge and more accurately calculate waste metrics.
The system, which was developed by Great Forest, involves human sensors, using cleaning crews to estimate and log what they observe using simple measurement guidelines. This manual system has been used for several years now with good results, and continues to be a good alternative for clients that choose not to use the sensor.