A smart waste management service employing sensors that collect real-time data on rubbish bin levels is helping optimise collection schedules in Spain.
Japanese firm NEC has teamed up with waste services provider ASCAN in the city of Santander to use machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors that record the volume of rubbish in the bins, before relaying this information via data collectors, repeaters and the mobile network to a control centre.
Refuse collection vehicles will be equipped with on-board GPS tracking and navigation systems that will allow the application software to automatically recommend and distribute the most efficient collection routes and highlight any locations that require immediate attention.
The new service is expected to reduce vehicle emissions and running costs by eliminating journeys to rubbish and recycling bins that are virtually empty and result in fewer incidences of overflowing bins.
Santiago Diaz, Vice President of ASCAN, commented: "We’re proud to be part of this pioneering project to improve waste collection services in Santander and create an even cleaner city for citizens to enjoy. By knowing how full the bins are and the location of our collection teams, we’ll be able to eliminate unnecessary trips to empty bins, reducing costs and resulting in a greener collection service."
New environmental sensors on the vehicles will monitor carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from car exhausts, which can cause smog and high ozone levels, helping to create a more granular and comprehensive environmental map of the city and enable officials to take prompt action to safeguard the health of citizens.
The city’s street sweeping team and citizens will also be able to use the “Cuida Santander” app to report problems with illegal dumping.
Iñigo de la Serna, Mayor of Santander, said: "This project will help ensure the city of Santander has the most efficient waste collection service, while helping to reduce vehicle emissions and running costs. Once again Santander is demonstrating itself as an innovator in the use of smart city technologies to improve the delivery of public services for citizens."
"NEC has unrivalled expertise in integrating smart city M2M sensors with data analysis and visualisation software to create a total solution that contributes to the welfare of communities around the world,” commented Jaime Serrano, president and CEO of NEC Iberica.
“We’re pleased to be helping Santander play a pioneering role in actively managing smart city services to improve the quality of life for citizens, while minimising their impact on the environment and operational costs."