Megan Krause / uni: mhk2152
Summary of Problem
Managing the waste generated in urban centers is costly and requires flexibility and certainty. Cities generate roughly 1.3 billion tons of solid waste per year and is expected to rise to 2.2 billion tons by 2025, an increase of 70%. The global costs associated are expected to increase from $205 billion per year in 2010 to $375 billion per year by 2025.
NYC singularly generates approximately 12,000 tons of solid waste every day and faces uncertainty of stability as its budget is continually cut. During the pandemic the budget of sanitation budget was cut by more than $100 million, leading to trash pile-ups on the sidewalks and in NYC Parks. NYC’s struggle to match the sanitation department’s budget with the needs of the city is not unique. Smarter waste management is needed to make a difference.
- Enevo is a technology mentioned in “3 Sustainable Uses of the Internet of Things” that monitors waste bins to understand the pattern of volume, use, and frequency visited
- The technology intuitively gives users the information necessary to design thoughtful pickup strategies, address systematically overflowing waste bins, and reduce schedule for bins that are not filled
- The proper cost of a sanitation department in places like NYC can be more exactly predicted and extraneous routes eliminated to ensure that the department is running most efficiently while matching the residents’ demand for quality of life
- After steady use and monitoring of the information collected with Enevo, it may be possible to better analyze where most of the solid waste is being generated and develop strategies on how to lower it.
In order to successfully implement this technology in a city, it would be necessary to have leadership buy in from the mayor’s office in order to ensure that this is a strategic focus and financial necessity for the city. There would also need to be a leadership champion at the department of sanitation to advocate for the technology.
The data analytics team at the department of sanitation would likely be responsible for consuming the information and making recommendations to route adjustments. And the logistics teams who coordinate the routes will need to use this information to proactively adjust the plan.
- Identify task force based on important organizational stakeholders
- Plan for a one-year pilot to prove effectiveness. The one-year timeline will secure budget and also provide an opportunity to show projected savings of technology use over time.
- Prioritize installation of Enevo by ranking location of highest volume and lowest volume collection sites and then simultaneously install at highest and lowest sites until met in the middle.