Waste Management Technologies are fascinating!

Waste Management

Every single day, tons of waste is produced, pun intended. Have you ever wondered what happens to the waste? Well, every country has its own waste management, and what happens specifically varies. However, it is important to understand the overall waste management in order to fix the issues. One way to help with waste management is waste management technologies. These waste management technologies help the waste become properly disposed of. So, let’s take a look at these waste management technologies that not only can make our lives simpler, but also good for the earth.

What is waste management?

Waste management technologies helps us be better to the environment
Before we go into waste management technologies, it is important to understand what is waste management. Waste management comprises all the actions or tasks taken out to handle waste from its inception till its final disposal. Waste management primarily consists of collecting, transporting, and disposal of waste which is monitored and regulated.
Waste Management is important because it helps businesses save a significant amount of money and prevents environmental degradation.

Waste Management Technologies

With the advancement in waste management technology, it is becoming easier to manage waste. With smart waste management technology solutions, it’s quite easy for companies to track and minimize their waste. There are many waste management technologies in the world and we’ll be discussing some of them below and with the positive impact they are creating.

Waste Management Technology: Waste Monitoring

One of the best solutions for monitoring waste is the OnePlus Metro from Contelligent. OnePlus Metro is a trash can sensor that lets you know how filled your waste container is. It is then monitored with their Wasteforce Platform which can be accessed from anywhere and provide analytics that helps in tracking the waste. One of the benefits of using OnePlus Metro is the reduction in cost by optimizing the trash pickup schedule which also reduces fuel emissions. OnePlus is an amazing waste management technology and really makes it easy to manage waste.

Free-Floating Boom

Waste management technology for ocean trash
Photo Credit: The Ocean Cleanup
Dutch scientists have designed a huge floating device which is successfully used to clean the rubbish from Pacific Ocean(Boffey). According to the creator, this 600 metre long free-floating device had retained debris from huge garbage patch. This ocean cleanup system is able to catch plastic of big size as well as the micro plastics. As per an estimate, around 600,000 to 800,000 metric tons of fishing gear is left behind in the oceans annually and more than 8 million tons of plastic waste lands in the ocean from beaches. Free-floating boom is turning out to be a savior for the Pacific Ocean. This is how it works.

It is designed like a C-shaped tube which is expected to collect 50% of the waste in the installed patch for over a period of 5 years. Due to the impact of wind, this floating barrier moves with the plastic and other waste. It has a 3 meter skirt which provides an underneath passage for the marine life. It is joined by a sea anchor which helps slow down the barrier. This allows waste to get caught in the free-floating boom. After every few weeks, this waste is collected by a vessel and is then recycled thus preventing ocean from getting polluted by plastic and endangering marine life. This projects aims to scale up the device in such a way that it is more durable and can retain waste for up to a year.

Waste Management Technology for Electronics Recycling

EcoATM has a presence in major retailers and grocery stores across US with around 3,000 kiosks installed. EcoATM offers instant cashback for used electronic devices. It is one of the smartest waste collection system and an appropriate way of collecting E-waste. In this way, it prevents over 14 Million smartphones and tablets from entering our landfills. When you place your old devices in the EcoATM, they are recycled or refurbished and then resold. Consumers also enjoy the option of trading their devices where they are offered a quote based on the condition of their device.
I think that this is one of the best way to collect electronic device which eventually end up in trash and pose serious environmental and health issues as these electronic devices contain harmful substances like mercury, lead, cadmium, zinc and many other. As we all know the importance of managing our electronic waste as it significantly affects the achievement of a sustainable community. Therefore, we should spend a little time to find out such related technologies that are minimizing e-waste and donate our e-waste to them.

Food Waste Minimization Techonologies

There are a lot of companies in the world who are working to minimize food waste and loss and preventing it from being thrown into the landfills. Many companies are focusing on increasing the shelf life of certain food products. We all know that the process of waxing has been carried out since 1920s to increase the shelf life of the fruits and vegetables.

Apeel is one such company which is thinking out of the box. Apeel makes invisible and edible coating from the unused or leftover agricultural products and once applied to the fruits and vegetables, can increase their shelf life by 5 times! The benefits of this innovative yet simple technique are many.

Firstly, around 30 % to 40% of the food is wasted or lost annually. This also includes the rotten vegetables and fruits which are thrown away or are lost during the supply chain process. Ending up in landfills, release harmful gases like methane, which is 84 times more harmful than carbon dioxide and has more devastating impacts for the environment as it effectively absorbs heat and speeds up the process of climate change(Methane: The other important greenhouse gas). Secondly, this initiative minimizes food waste which indirectly means minimization in wastage of all the factors of production like, land, water, money and energy.

This technology will aid farmers especially from the developing countries because they don’t have access to proper transport system and infrastructure due to which their produce gets spoiled before reaching the market. By using this technology, they are increase the shelf life of their produce and make them better profits. In the developed countries, this initiative can massively reduce the vegetables being wasted in the household, schools and restaurants.

Waste Management Technologies are Needed

The Ocean Cleanup: Waste management technology
Photo Credit: The Ocean Cleanup
These are a few of the waste management technologies. In future, we hope to see more waste management technologies to help us become more efficient in our waste management. With more proper and efficient waste management and waste management technologies, we can slow down the harm to the environment, create new jobs and create a sustainable future.
While these waste management technologies are amazing, we need more as there are many more waste management challenges we need to tackle for a cleaner future.

Resources:
Boffey, Daniel. “Ocean Cleanup Device Successfully Collects Plastic for First Time.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 03 Oct. 2019. Web. 29 Jan. 2021.
“Methane: The Other Important Greenhouse Gas.” Environmental Defense Fund. Web. 29 Jan. 2021.
               
Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!