Field: Municipal solid waste treatment
Global Technical function: Collecting
Technical Function Unit: Private equity funding for development, demonstration, and commercial exploitation, Software tool
Geographic Area: Portugal

Development of a software package that promises the optimisation of waste collection

Using ezWaste, coupled with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, municipalities and waste management companies can identify the most efficient waste collection routes, ensuring that waste is sorted in a more systematic way, allowing one to trace waste loads from when they are collected to when they are recycled or disposed of, and allows for better overall control of the waste disposal process. 

The challenge

The need for efficient waste management grows with the increase in volume of waste created. A comprehensive tool for budgeting and planning waste management can help municipalities to better monitor and manage their waste treatment activities and thus save costs.

The innovation

Using the private equity funding for development demonstration and commercial exploitation, the company Compta in Portugal developed the EZWaste software and hardware package for municipalities and waste operators within municipal solid waste treatment. The tool facilitates the identification and categorisation of waste and traces the material through the waste management system. A faulty handling of waste is prevented so that, for example, recyclable waste does not end up being needlessly landfilled.

Why did it work?

Estimating the volume, type and location of waste and respective resources required to collect and treat this waste requires precise data collection and analysis.  Smart waste management is also demanded by the municipalities which are often constricted by tight budgets. EZWaste was developed to optimise the waste management operations of municipalities.

With the support of the EZWaste GPS and RFID technology guides, waste collection truck fleets can be operated more efficiently with better route planning and intelligent waste disposal; RFID tags are affixed to waste containers and the trucks are equipped with RFID readers. Each container’s RFID tag communicates to the RFID reader installed in a passing waste-pick-up truck with information about the weight and type of the container’s content. This helps truck drivers to validate and verify pick-ups. The tool also allows municipalities and waste operators to track the number of times a container is used for collection and thus plan truck routes more efficiently. 

Further deployment

With ezWaste the waste operators can track container use rates, manage future service requests, and plan and bill services performed.

ezWaste and similar software tools support the separation of different waste streams as a basis for reuse or recycling. We estimate the maturity of this solution to be 9 on GML scale.

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