What does the growing population mean for global waste management?

What does the growing population mean for global waste management?


Mar 22, 2023

Blog Membrane and Separation Technology What does the growing population mean for global waste management?

The population is growing, and with it comes a mounting burden of waste. For cities, countries, and municipalities, dealing with the increasing amount of waste is a mammoth challenge. If not disposed of effectively, waste not only threatens our environment, but also the population’s health and prosperity.

Unsurprisingly, the answer is being found increasingly in technology. Smart waste management systems provide a modern solution to the global waste burden, but are far from Disney’s depictions of the trash-compacting robot Wall-E. Instead, they are complex networks powered by the Internet of Things (IoT). As more and more regions turn to smart waste management, the market is expected to boom. BCC Research has estimated it will reach as much as $675.3 billion by 2027, up from $451.5 billion in 2022. Before we dive further into the future of global waste management, let’s get the basics nailed down.

What is smart waste management?

At its core, smart waste management is about making our waste management systems more efficient with the help of smart technology. These smart waste systems contain various sensors and data centers across the entire waste management network. They can register information and transmit them from one data point to another. For example, a bin could be embedded with a sensor that monitors the fill level. When it is nearing full, the sensor would send a signal that alerts waste management providers that the bin requires emptying. As a result, bin collectors can adjust their route to prioritize fuller bins, allowing for waste to be collected quickly, without delays, while avoiding unsanitary waste build-up.

What are the benefits of smart waste management?

Smart waste management aims to streamline waste disposal. This will make operations more efficient, effectively saving time, money, and reducing carbon emissions. According to BCC Research’s analysis, smart waste management helps lower the overall cost of collection and transportation by more than 50%. This helps keep public places, residential buildings, hospitals, and other institutions free from trash.

Overall, smart waste management helps clean up cities and reduce public health risks. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the dangers of unsafe disposal of hazardous items – smart waste management helps eliminate this risk.

Smart waste management solutions

Four key technologies currently make up most smart waste management solutions. These include:

Smart bin sensors

These IoT-based sensors turn ordinary bins into smart bins. The sensors identify the fill level of containers and provide live updates to waste management coordinators. Sensors can also capture bin orientation and temperature measurements, providing 3D topology maps of the contents of bins. The sensors send the data to the cloud, where it can be analyzed and acted upon.

Smart Waste Management Systems: Global Markets

BCC Research has dove into the market for smart waste management systems. We explore the data across numerous regions, analyzing opportunities and blockers for those with stakes in the industry. We offer complimentary overviews of our entire selection of reports. Download your overview of Smart Waste Management Systems: Global Markets


Smart waste management platforms use analytics to translate the data gathered from bins into actionable insights that improve waste services. The type of data generated in this platform includes:

  • Locations that require immediate attention due to overflow issues.
  • The number of bins required to avoid overflowing waste.
  • The number of collection services that could be reduced.
  • The amount of fuel that could be saved.
  • The driving distance that could be reduced.

Intelligent Route

By analyzing the data gathered from bin-fill levels on the platform, waste collectors can determine the most efficient route for waste collection. Instead of simply emptying the bins on a pre-planned collection route – regardless of whether they need emptying or not – collectors can switch routes to prioritize full bins, saving on both fuel and time.

Container tracking

Bin container tracking provides a digital overview of containers and waste inventory. It allows bin owners to optimize inventories, keep track of damaged bins, protect bins against theft, and easily schedule maintenance.

Waste management that’s smarter, greener, and more efficient

The growing population will undoubtedly have a knock-on impact on the environment, but smart waste management systems are helping curb the damage. With streamlined infrastructure, reduced costs, and less environmental damage, they really are a win-win. But ultimately, uptake of smart technologies in the waste management sector is still low. As the global waste burden increases, more opportunities will emerge.

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    Olivia Lowden

    Written By Olivia Lowden

    Olivia Lowden is a Junior Copywriter at BCC Research, writing content on everything from sustainability to fintech. Before beginning at BCC Research, she received a First-Class Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

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