Waste Management: Page 9 of 14

Tue, 2015-11-10 09:14 -- Jon DeKeles
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Dependencies for solid waste management

Improvements to a city’s solid waste management system in part depend on other city systems. Transportation systems, computing resources and data analytics capabilities can all play a role in waste management.

Efficient transportation networks, for example, are necessary for collection and transport of

debris to material and energy recovery facilities, as well as landfills. Computing resources such as GIS systems are valuable for planning collection routes, siting processing facilities, as well as choosing locations for landfills.

Cities with data analytic tools available can also better support smart waste management initiatives. Data analytics are often required to process and gain insights from data derived from sensors and RFID tags on trash and recycling containers.

Benefits of realizing solid waste targets

Smart solid waste management enhances a city’s livability, workability and sustainability in a variety of ways.


Lowering costs for citizens. Use of technologies that yield more efficient waste management – such sensors, RFID tags and GPS to optimize collection routes – can reduce operational costs and thereby lower or help con-trol garbage bills for residents and businesses. Waste recovery companies that pay municipalities to recover energy and materials from their solid waste stream also help offset waste management costs for cities and citizens.

Protecting public health. Open dumping and garbage burning are still widely practiced in many developing parts of the world. These activities continue to adversely impact urban air and water quality.

Uncollected garbage also takes a toll on public health. Refuse on the streets collects water where insects breed and potentially spread disease. Plastic bottles and packaging left in the open leach chemicals and toxins into the soil and water. Litter clogs and interferes with the function of sewer systems.

Modern waste management solutions will assure citizens that air and water resources are neither contaminated nor a threat to public health.

Increasing civic pride and property values. Smart waste management can visually and aesthetically improve communities by ensuring that garbage is removed and processed in an efficient, timely and responsible manner. Uncollected waste and litter is not only an eyesore, but encourages people to act less responsibly about how they handle waste. Clean streets and minimized litter, on the other hand, promote civic pride and higher property values.


Establishing an appealing business environment. Timely and efficient collection and removal of urban waste contributes to an attractive environment for a company’s workers and clients. Businesses that want to maintain a strong corporate image utilize advanced waste management practices – such as zero waste initiatives – and look to locate in cities that have strong waste management practices.

Creating new jobs. Cities that promote waste management solutions such as material recovery facilities and waste-to-energy plants open the door to new industries and jobs.