Garbage pickup is not something most people think about when considering technology. However, the industry has its own share of impressive technologies that have not only made pickup and sorting more efficient but has improved the environment as well. Below are some recent development in the trash collection and waste management industry worth noting.
Electric Garbage Trucks
Many people have heard of the California-based Tesla Motors because it’s an innovative leader in the automotive industry. What they may not realize is that Tesla has also gotten into the waste disposal business. Currently, the company is manufacturing a quieter and more efficient garbage truck with an electric drivetrain.
This is a big improvement over current garbage trucks that operate very loudly. The newly proposed electric engine uses a battery pack that the driver can re-charge when he or she takes a break. If the driver doesn’t have a chance to recharge, a turbine onboard in the truck takes over.
Reducing Trash Output by 50 Percent
Even when people tear and break down their trash, garbage and recycling bins can fill up in a hurry. Ecube Labs has recently released a trash compactor operated by solar power called CleanCUBE that holds as much as eight times the garbage or recycling materials of regular bins.
This means they can reduce the pickups on their routes by as much as 80 percent, thereby reducing the amount of fuel used and their environmental impact. The CleanCUBE technology also makes each pickup as much as 50 percent more efficient.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
RFID systems have been popular in other industries for many years. When placed inside of a trash or recycling bin, an RFID tag provides valuable information about trash collection to local governments and waste management companies. Some of the data available on an RFID tag includes:
- Which people in a neighborhood put out trash for collection
- How often people out trash out
- How much material each household or business typically disposes of
By having this information available, local governments and waste management companies can gauge the success of recycling programs and optimize their programs for collecting trash and recycled materials.
Cleaning Up America’s Oceans
The oceans in this country are a spectacular piece of nature and a respite for people to escape to for a day of swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, or another activity. Unfortunately, they’re also full of garbage. Combined, oceans in the United States hold five trillion pieces of plastic with most of it floating in the water as patches of garbage.
Although cleaning up all that plastic trash is a daunting task, an organization called Ocean Cleanup believes it has come up with a solution. It has recently created a large net shaped liked the letter U that traps and collects ocean plastics in the center of the net.
This makes it possible for a vessel to come by later to empty the trash from the U-shaped net. Unfortunately, it had to pull the product back due to some minor design flaws but will relaunch soon.
With the typical American producing 254 million tons of garbage every year, these and other technological advances in the waste collection industry can’t come soon enough.