With sensors and solar powered bins fuelling decision making across Australia’s smart cities landscape, Smartsensor Technologies Managing Director Leon Hayes outlines the power of data in the era of smart waste.
How can state-of-the-art technology aid Australia’s waste crisis? COVID-19 has encouraged a technological change, presenting an economic opportunity for all sectors including waste and resource recovery.
Smart waste is on a mission to integrate technology into the world’s most resource intensive industries, to drive resource efficiency, improve safety and ensure operational improvements.
Cities all over the world are using technology to transform the way people live. Thanks to this rapid expansion of innovative solutions, smart cities aren’t just a concept or a dream of the future.
Rather, communities are actively optimising infrastructure and local waste streams through next-generation intelligence capabilities.
As Australia’s smart cities landscape continues to mature following the repercussions of COVID-19, smart waste has never been more essential.
Leon Hayes, Smartsensor Technologies Managing Director, says smart waste is coming of age.
“Smart waste is in the same category as electric vehicles. People think they are foreign concepts when the adoption is being widely accepted,” he says.
Over 10 year ago, Hayes recognised the benefit of adopting technology into waste management practices and set out to provide sustainable yet innovative waste solutions for Australians.
Hayes founded Solar Bins Australia and worked closely with the company’s American manufacturers in an exclusive partnership.
The business is focused on delivering cost effective waste management solutions for facilities management companies, councils, governments and mining companies.
“Since the introduction of BigBelly Solar Compactors to the Australian market, Solar Bins Australia has been at the forefront of delivering these solutions to the Australian marketplace,” Hayes says.
“When we began the education process a decade ago, it was surprising that ASX listed companies were still relying on manual processes and excel sheets that were interrupting the accuracy of their data collection.”
This encouraged Hayes to focus on data management as the industry and city landscape was rapidly evolving.
“A smart bin provides data to the customer over time. Solar-powered bins have come a long way since they were first introduced. They’re now self-sustaining hubs with Wi-Fi and can power small cell networks,” he says.
“They’re an integral part of activity in urban centres and connect to a network of waste data collection points.”
Hayes adds that data connectivity is a key to the future.
“We have the data from waste users to analyse what happened on any given day. It’s the foundation of a smart city and provides insight for planners to make decisions quicker,” he says.
More recently, Hayes expanded the solar bin portfolio and built a data driven community at the forefront of smart cities and Internet of Things technologies.
Smartsensor Technologies is an end to end Internet of Things solutions provider, combining hardware, software and automation to build knowledge for both the public and private sector.
“Smartsensor is a game changing rubbish bin fullness-level sensor and software platform that enables your waste network to become a smart waste network,” Hayes says.
The technology is able to provide businesses with a virtual eye into each of their waste containers, so they know exactly which bins are ready to be emptied and when.
The data from the Smartsensor is then sent directly to a smart phone or web enabled device.
“We live in a world that requires data and information at our fingertips, and smart waste is pulling people into that direction.” Hayes says.
He highlights that this technology is not designed to replace physical jobs, but enable operations to be far more efficient.
Major regional councils, theme park companies and other large scale corporations have been enthusiastic to reap in the benefits of smart technology and solar compacting bins.
“Community is our biggest advocate,” Hayes says.
He credits technology, expectation, communication, data and analytics as the five pillars of smart waste.
“Sensors can be set up faster than other infrastructure and councils are able to see the captured data about the community at any given time. It proves that smart communication is a game changer and the next frontier for waste management,” Hayes says.
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