Melita’s NB-IoT addresses wastage, in more ways than one.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 by Beppe Vella

Melita’s NB-IoT addresses wastage, in more ways than one.

As much as we would all like to see more recycling and more efficient disposal of waste, running an efficient waste management operation is complex, with much of the process dependent upon manual intervention.

To avoid over-flowing bins on our streets and in our parks, garbage trucks must visit every single bin on a route, and workers need to check how full the bins are. Even though some bins won’t need emptying every time, having to physically check all the bins, all the time, makes the process inefficient.

The IoT solution

In order to address these inefficiencies Melita enabled a solution that involves the attachment of sensors to each physical bin. The sensors measure how full the bins are, their temperature (to detect fires), and any vibrations (to detect theft attempts). Through the use of SIM cards and Melita’s narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network, the sensors communicate the information to a central hub.  By interpreting this data, the waste collection company can deploy trucks only to bins that need to be emptied, eliminating trips to bins that are not full, or do not require any other attention.

Of course bins are found across the Maltese islands, on beaches, on street corners, at picnic areas; often in locations with no connection to the electrical grid.  Batteries are therefore needed to power the IoT sensors in the bins.  A major benefit of the NB-IoT network is its low power consumption, meaning that the batteries’ life is many years, making the whole operation more feasible.

The benefits

Melita’s IoT solution increases the waste collection company’s operational efficiency, by eliminating unnecessary trips to bins that do not require emptying.  In turn this reduces fuel costs and manpower demands.  A person who needs to throw something away is much more likely to find a bin with space for more rubbish.

The bigger picture

And finally, this solution also helps the environment by reducing the carbon footprint from the waste trucks, eliminating unsightly overflowing bins and encouraging us all to dispose of waste more responsibly.

Beppe Vella

Beppe Vella

Product Manager - Business Services

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