Innovations and disruptive technologies to solve operational issues and improve productivity are part of the industry 4.o and the recent advent of smart cities has led to the requirement of a smart waste management system in environmental services that would solve the needs of ever growing population and infrastructural developments. With Singapore implementing more automation in every sectors and jobs, waste management is no exception.
The global scenario
From a global perspective, by 2025, world cities are expected to generate 2.2 billion tonnes of municipal waste a year, nearly doubling the 2012 figure of 1.3 billion tonnes a year, according to the World Bank. But what causes this surplus? The answer is rapid economic growth, urbanisation, increasing population and a serious lack of recycling processes. This has caused resource consumption to increase, and consequently the release of large amounts of waste to the environment and that too quite fast.
Waste management in Singapore
Singapore’s competitive and growing economy has resulted in an increase in the amount of waste generated i.e. around 8,559 tonnes a day recorded for 2018. The sources are usually homes and businesses generating solid waste on a daily basis which are then sent for incineration and later to be disposed at the Semaku landfil. Although the amount of waste generated in 2018 was less by 9,000 tonnes to that generated in 2017; the recycling rates have reduced too. However , government initiatives of ‘the circular economy’ and ‘Zero Waste’ vision focuses on keeping resources in use for a longer time with more recycling and reusing.
Therefore, in wake of the sustainable waste management strategies adopted in Singapore, there comes a need of a smart waste management system that will make the goal achievable and the entire waste handling process more efficient and attainable with real-time analysis.
Based on an economic and social affairs report presented by the United Nations, 28% of Singapore’s population will be 65 years or older by 2030. In fact, the number would rise to around 47.5% by the year 2050 i.e. half of the population will consist of an older workforce. Hence the requirement of redesigning and automating jobs with technology. Substituting manual processes with automation would make it easier for the elderly to perform efficiently and increase safety. Other issues that could be tackled include resource planning and allocation, time management, operational visibility, predictive analysis and productivity. By combining effective monitoring and management solutions, it is possible to automate and ease the process of waste management.
This a part 1 (one)of a 3 (three) series blog on smart waste management, follow this space for more!