Zero Waste Plans are the solution for smart cities

1. What is the social or environmental issue being addressed? Waste

CERO Cooperative is simultaneously addressing the problem of landfills receiving organic material, which generates methane and contributes to global warming and the challenge to find green jobs with acceptable wages and working conditions.

2. How is this being addressed?

CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is a commercial composting company providing effective commercial composting services:

  • Providing food diversion and pickup services for commercial clients
  • Transporting food scraps to local farms, where they are recycled into nutrient-rich compost products used to support the local agrucilture economy
  • Helping creating quality jobs for local community members, primarily immigrants and people of color
  • Prioritizing reasonable reasonable pricing to clients by a more direct and efficient process, saving their customers over $400,000 in trash hauling expenses

CERO Cooperative offers a unique business model in which every employee is also part owner. 

#sustainability #zerowaste #compost #watemanagement #mm5860

Source: “5 Reasons Why Your City Should Have a Zero Waste Plan” Next City, October 2020

3. Stakeholders

City leaders are responsible to pivot away from current systems and invest in zero waste, which would safeguard public health, create good jobs, build local economies and fight climate change.

Big companies to engage in these programs as main clients and waste generators. They will not only see theis cost decrease but will also be helping to a circular and green local economy.

Communities in general need to advocate and push their leaders to take part in these initiatives.

4. Next steps

  1. Create the channels: adapt regulation, form local cooperatives and build composting facilities
  2. Engage the stakeholders: require big companies in each community to engage and contact with local farmers
  3. Coordinate the whole system.

Sustainably Problem: Waste

Technology Solution: Wasteloop – Fully electric waste management system.

  • The sanitation trucks work silently and they don’t empty waste directly on site. By doing this, it reduces the energy consumed by 80%
  • By making the switch to this one stop shop for disposal, it would produce 99 % CO2 emission less emissions
  • The major plus is it can be profitable, it has low operation cost.


  • Public
  • Waste management companies
  • Energy Companies
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Government


With the help of the government funding and a private public partnership, there could be select locations in the state for each county with these waste bins available. After Department of Sanitation unloads the waste in one location and after it is filled a sensors would send a message for it to be delivered to the waste loop fully electric waste management system.


Returning “Oil” to the Earth

Charm Industrial’s “bio-oil” — a carbon-rich oil made from almond shells and other types of biomass

Peter Schott // pcs2144
(1) Sustainability Problem: Waste // Carbon
In order to curb the effects of climate change, it is essential to phase out fossil fuel use and decarbonize the economy more broadly. Carbon removal is one solution.

(2) Charm Industrial represents a significant change to reduce the cost from $600 to $50/ton CO2e while elimination 10%+ of global CO2e in the process.

  • Charm partners with farmers (who grow a lot of crops) that generate biomass waste, converting the left over biomass into “bio-oil”, drilling a well, and pumping the bio-oil underground; this achieves the removal of carbon from the atmosphere “permanently, reliably and potentially on a grand scale”
  • This is achieved through a process called “pyrolysis,” (read: organic chemistry) producing hydrogen (that can be used in refineries or to make fertilizer/power vehicles) and “bio-oil”
  • The modular Pyrolyzer can be put on the edge of the farm, reducing the need to transport the biomass outside of a local area; this technology has gained attention from Stripe and Microsoft

Source: Meet the startup producing oil to fight climate change, Grist

(3) Stakeholders

  • Fortune 500 companies and beyond: who are seeking to reduce their environmental impacts as they attempt to offset their corporate emissions through carbon removal opportunities. Stripe and Microsoft to name a few.
  • Nonprofits and academic institutions: to provide a third party assessment of the carbon removal projects (e.g, Carbonplan) and potential analysis around the broader carbon removal market.
  • Lobbyists/Government: to ensure that Charm Industrial can receive federal tax credits, as only CO2 gas is recognized as a CO2e carbon removal technique.

(4) Design/Implementation/Next Steps:

  • Raise capital from existing investors to scale manufacturing capabilities of the Pyrolyzer machine
  • Manufacture one machine and dedicate it to launching a pilot on a large-scale farm to collect data and conduct research; use biomass to create bio-oil and measure components on transporation, equipment cost, potential revenue, etc. to forecast the scale-up of the business
  • Meet with scientists and clients to share results of the pilot program to collect feedback, with the goal of creating a pitchbook for future investors

Smart Waste Collection

  1. Problem: Waste Management. There is a lack of efficiency and transparency in waste management. Not knowing how full the bins are make it difficult to maximize efficiency. When the bins aren’t full when collected, it leads to additional emissions and extra trips. When the bins have been full before the scheduled pick up, it causes social problems such as overflow of waste on the streets.
  2. Summary:
    • Bratislava is implementing a large-scale smart waste digitalization program using Sensoneo. This will realize savings on waste collection related to truck mileage, emissions, and prevention of damages related to overfilled containers. 
    • Will be implemented in stages until April 2022
    • Project includes 
      1. digitalization of 85,000 containers and installation of 1,753 Sensoneo sensors to monitor all containers for glass waste and underground bins across the city
      2. Will also deploy 92 Sensoneo WatchDog devices on all waste collection vehicles to automatically digitalize the waste collection process and automatically verify pick-ups
      3. Flexible waste collection powered by Sensoneo’s Route Optimization and the testing of prototypes facilitating the introduction of “pay-as-you-sort“ models and recognizing fill-levels of containers during pick-up.
    • Glass waste is particularly troublesome due to its irregular filling cycle. Using Sensoneo’s technology, the city can avoid unnecessary pickups. 
  3.  Stakeholders
    • City’s waste management company
    • Waste collection fleet operator
    • Waste collection drivers
    • Waste dumpster location that receive the waste
  4. Steps
    • Digitalize the location of 85,000 containers on the software
    • Install the necessary sensors on the containers for glass
    • Install the Watchdog devices on the waste collection vehicles

Carboard to Products Technology

Sustainability Problem: Waste

Cardboard: To create new cardboard from old cardboard, it uses 75 percent of the energy that would be needed to start from the beginning. If 1 ton of cardboard is recycled, it saves 46 gallons of oil. In the United States, 90% of the products shipped are packaged in cardboard. The transit cost for the recycling loops comes at a high price, and cardboard has a low value. 

Technology Solution

Carboard to Products Technology(CTP): The CTP technology has state of the art defibering method combined with an innovative mineral-based composite that can produce a wide variety of degradable feedstock materials. This is the only technology that converts cardboard into other products without recycling, landfilling, or incineration centers. Currently, the CTP technology is being used for Soil conditioners, garden mulch, goods packaging materials, and bedding material for odor control in livestock farms.


  • Public
  • Pact Renewables PTY LTD.
  • Government
  • Landfills Companies
  • Recycling Centers


Marketing: The marketing strategy should target industries and companies that could benefit from this technology. Age groups from 18-35 on social media platforms because of their better understanding and benefits of becoming more sustainable.

Investors: Since cardboard waste is in ample supply without many technologies with a cost-benefit solution, CTP shouldn’t be hard to pitch to investors.

Identify locations: It is critical to build facilities that implement this technology near the high density of cardboard waste to minimize transit costs and maximize the profit margin.


Fighting Sewage Problems With Sensors

Student: Joshua Herrig (Uni: JLH2208)

Sustainability Problem: Waste, or Combined Sewer Overflow. In many cities the sewers that are used for sewage are also used for rainwater overflow (thus “combined sewer”), so when it rains the sewage, rather than backing up into people’s homes and business plumbing, overflows into rivers, oceans and lakes.

SUMMARY: In America, combined sewers dump 850 billion gallons of raw sewage into waterways. In South Bend, Indiana, in 2008— the worst year for storm and wastewater overflow— 2 billion gallons of untreated sewage flowed into St. Joseph River.

Article: One city’s fight to solve its sewage problem with sensors, by Andrew Zaleski.

  • In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency forced South Bend into a consent decree, demanding $863 million worth of sewer upgrades. However, South Bend’s citizens would have had to pay $10,000 each to pay for the upgrades, nearly impossible in a town with the average income of $40,000.
  • A company called EmNet, formed by engineer Michael Lemmon and fellow engineers and researchers from Notre Dame University, have deployed a system of sensors in South Bend’s sewer system.
  • After the sensors were installed, South Bend and EmNet implemented a real-time control system, with valves that automatically open and close in response to the sensor data.
  • Since the sensors and control system have been installed overflow has dropped from 42.8 million gallons to 6.9 million in 2020, with the intention of getting overflow to zero.

STAKEHOLDERS: EmNet (private company), South Bend Sewer Department (government), EPA (Federal government), South Bend citizens, humans downstream of the sewage overflow, the environment downstream of the overflow

TECH DEPLOYMENT: This technology has been deployed and seemed to have taken these steps 1. Install the sensors throughout the system 2. Measure where there is overflow and how much. 3. Deploy the valves and real-time control system 4. Implement the valves to respond to overflow and 5. Re-measure how the system is working and fix accordingly.

EDIT: I just realized the MIT story is behind a paywall. Here is a PDF of the story:

Route Optimization Software for Waste Management

1) Sustainability Problem:

In 2014, in the United States, about 258 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste were generated. ( In addition to the environmental impact of the waste itself, the waste has to be hauled and carted to landfills or recycling facilities. This is performed by heavy-duty trucks which produce significant pollution per mile.
Category: Energy/Water & Waste Management

2) Technology Summary:

Route optimization software can ensure that fleet operators are driving the minimum necessary distance to efficiently pickup and deliver waste to the appropriate intermediate facility.
From the article:

Joe Burkel, vice president of digital operations and process improvement at Republic Services, estimates that a one percent reduction in total fleet miles traveled can save more than 631,000 gallons of fuel. The carbon emissions savings from that would be equivalent to removing 1,400 cars from the roads, he says.

Article: How Some Hauler Routines Have Been Transformed by Technology
Website: Waste360
Tags: #waste #route optimization

3) Organizational stakeholders

  1. City councils
  2. Procurement officials in each municipality
  3. Waste management officials
  4. Software vendors

4) Steps in deploying this technology

  1. Establish SOW’s and service contracts with route optimization software vendors
  2. Establish data integration & data governance protocols for incoming data streams into municipal data warehouse
  3. Work with drivers unions to get buy-in on relying on new technology for their operations
  4. Measure and evaluate software effectiveness in mileage reduced and iterate on route tweaks

Related Resources:

Note: This software is extensible into all fleet operations, including school buses and all other service operations.

Uni: jz2805

Replacing the conventional small-format plastic packaging with edible and biodegradable material (seaweed)

  1. Sustainability Problem: Reducing plastic waste is a dilemma. It is something that most consumers want to do but find it hard to do so. That is because plastic is readily available, cheap, convenient and durable. Now, an Indonesian-based startup has come up with a delicious and nutritious solution to help reduce our dependence on this environmental hazard.
  2. Using seaweed as raw material, Evoware was able to come up with an eco-solution for problems concerning plastic waste. Evoware’s bioplastic products are eco-friendly, biodegradable and even edible and healthy for human beings. This will not just impact the environment but also for the livelihood of Indonesia’s seaweed farmers. Some benefits of bioplastics:
    • Food that works as flexible packaging
    • Has the same function as plastic packaging, plus it dissolves in warm water & is biodegradable
    • Shelf life: 2 years, without preservatives
    • Contains high fiber, vitamins and minerals
    • Maintains shore cleanliness
    • Improve seaweed farmer’s wellbeing and income


Indonesian company Evoware makes edible seaweed packaging | Daily Mail Online

Evoware Hopes to Reduce Plastic Waste With Edible Seaweed Wrappers and Ello Jello Cups | Dogo News

Ecolution for your future | Evoware

  1. Stakeholders:
    • Retailers
    • Fast food chains
    • Hospitality industries
    • Food & Beverage industries
    • Consumers all over the world
    • Waste Management Facilities
  2. Next steps:
    • Invest more on advertising and outreach
    • Engage with multiple stakeholders to start a movement
    • Innovate further by introducing new products/alternatives and concepts


By: Timothy Wiranata

UNI: tw2618

Comment on World’s first “negative emissions” plant :

“A very innovative technology indeed. Again, such ideas will always stumble upon large cost and scalability. And the fact that it needs a carbon-neutral plant to build upon means that it still needs further research since many power plants around the world are still not carbon-neutral.”


IoT revolutionizes waste management

1: Sustainability Problem

Area of sustainability category: Waste

The old-fashioned way of waste collection empties trash bins in a settled schedule. However, this method can only conduct a low quality of waste collection service to customers, as well as, a high operation cost to the waste collection provider. Because the trash bins cannot be guaranteed to be exacted filled with the maximum volume. If trash bins are overfilled before the collector come, it may cause dissatisfaction from customers. If the trash bin is only half-filled, it is inefficient to send out drivers and collect the waste.

2: Technology

“OnePlus Corp. Acquires SmartBin™”—“The acquisition creates the dominant, global Internet of Things (IoT) sensor and software business serving the waste industry”,


  • SamrtBin uses intelligent IoT to improve waste management across the globe
  • SmartBin sets the standard for smart recycling and
  • SmartBin’s sensors are used in smaller bins and receptacles for items such as textiles, drop boxes, solid and liquid waste receptacles
  • SmartBin’s sensor knows when bins are ready for emptying, and thus optimizes the collection routes and logistics
  • SmartBin has over 100 clients in more than 25 countries, including the United States

3: Stakeholders

  • Retailers, grocery stores which have a huge demand for waste collection service
  • Municipalities which usually responsible for the city residency’s waste collection
  • Most waste management providers which eager for new technology that can lower their cost and increase their service quality

4: Process of implementation

  1. Since this company has already achieved over 100 clients in more than 25 countries, it can conduct a sufficient survey result from the existing clients and publish the result on the social media to gain exposure
  2. To attract potential clients, SmartBin should proactively seek opportunities of attending Trade Fair such as IFAT (Leading Trade Fair for Environmental Technologies) to increase its brand awareness in the industry
  3. It is also important to have a partnership with the government since many cities’ waste management services are offered by governments. To achieve this, SamrtBin can work with government’s Smart City projects.



Biodegradable Eco-bags

  1. Sustainability Problem: Waste is a recurring problem that has persisted through decades of innovation towards unnatural manufacturing and processes. Delving deeper, plastic waste is a big issue because they do not degrade easily. It can take hundreds of years for plastic to break down. With an estimated worldwide consumption of 1 trillion plastic bags every year, a better solution is needed.
  2. AVANI Bio-Cassava Bag could be the solution:
    • 100% biodegradable, compostable and disposable – degrades within 90 days
    • Made from cassava starch and all-natural resins, 100% renewable – contains no conventional plastic
    • Safe for consumption – dissolves in lukewarm water
    • Can be recycled along with paper
    • Durable – look, feel and perform like plastic



Plastic you can drink: A solution for pollution? | CNN

Cassava carrier bags: Indonesian entrepreneur tackles plastic scourge


  1. Stakeholders:
    • Supermarkets, grocery shops
    • Retailers
    • Hospitality industries
    • Food & Beverage industries
    • Consumers all over the world
    • Waste Management Facilities
  2. Next steps:
    • Invest more on advertising and outreach
    • Mass production could be a significant progress
    • Innovate further by introducing new products/alternatives and concepts


By: Timothy Wiranata

Columbia UNI: tw2618