Technological advancements have helped humanity achieve many things, from creating machines smarter than ourselves, to producing viral cat videos that can be shared and seen worldwide. With global waste production to grow 70% by 2050, technological advancements can help increase recycling rates, assisting the move toward a circular economy.
The waste industry continues to innovate, helping to influence behaviour, increase recycling rates and improve operations. We have picked out some of our favorite solutions for offices, companies and communities, which are available today!
Waste Innovators in the Heart of London
Bywaters, London’s leading sustainable waste management company, uses technological innovation to process waste and reduce CO2 emissions. Their Flagship Facility has the most extensive solar panel retrofit on an existing building in London. The 4,000 solar panels significantly reduce the facility’s environmental impact, generating 897,000 kWh per year, enough power to 225 houses annually.
Recently, Bywaters carried out a £7million upgrade to their vehicle fleet, reducing emissions associated with waste collections by up to 95% . Each vehicle is fitted with a Dynafleet system that monitors environmental performance and driver behaviour, ensuring every journey is made using the most efficient route.
Reducing waste using A.I
In the current telecommunications revolution, companies are using artificial intelligence (A.I.) to improve our way of working. Some communities and organisations have started to introduce A.I smart bins. These clever containers capture visualisations of the waste thrown away, and intelligent software uses IoT (Internet of Things) data to identify what materials the waste contains. After identification, the bin segregates the waste to its suitable waste stream and compresses the product, making source segregation easier whilst holding more waste than your standard bin. The U.K is working hard to implement this A.I technology and is already trialing nationwide.
In movies, humans are frequently depicted fleeing Earth when it is no longer habitable. In reality, we have 129 million pieces of space junk orbiting our planet posing a threat to our planet and may avert us from exploring space, making inhabiting other planets impossible. To tackle this problem, NASA has created ‘the Deep Asteroid challenge’, inviting participants to come up with A.I technology to detect incoming comets and space junk that may harm our planet.
Wasteless, an Israeli startup, has developed a dynamic pricing algorithm for point of sales systems in retailers. The algorithm will track the expiry dates of perishable products in real-time and change its value based on its expiry date, incentivising the discounted products to be bought and used before it goes into waste. A retailer that used ‘Wasteless’ saw food waste decreased by 39% while boosting revenue by 110%.
Technology changing the way we recycle
The best way to encourage better recycling practices is education. In order to tackle this global issue it’s important to raise awareness of correct and sustainable recycling methods. Smart bins that use behavioural technologies aim to educate, using innovations and experimental methods to influence behavioural change. Utilising behavioural technology will play a significant role in educating people on sustainability. Multiple countries have introduced community smart bins to track an individual’s recycling rates through computer chips; awarding them as they recycle.
Reverse vending machines contain similar technology to the community smart bins. These automated machines utilise modern technology to classify, sort, collect, and process various materials, offering a range of dynamic incentives such as cashback and discount vouchers designed to increase the recycling experience’s value. In 1984, Sweden launched a deposit return system for cans, and in 1994, one for plastic bottles. The country now has a recycling rate of 85.6% recycling rate for cans and plastic bottles, which is almost double what the U.K. recycles.
Some companies in the UK have started trials of these bins. Bywaters launched coffee cup reverse vending machines at three of London’s prestigious universities and have seen an increased recycling rate.
To a better future!
Earth does not need us, but we need the earth. It is crucial to protect what the world has given us for future generations. Technological advancement will help us combat our greatest challenge; climate change. Innovations can convert waste into new products and produce clean energy, but to implement real change, we must modify our behaviour and expand our knowledge. Although modern technology provides us with fantastic eco friendly solutions, it’s up to us to change our lifestyle for the better.
Bywaters have a range of services to make your recycling impact the world, if you are interested in finding out more, get in contact now.
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