Smart Sensors and Digitalization

Smart sensors in waste bins can optimize the process of waste collection, thereby increasing collection rates and reducing downstream waste management costs. 

TARGET USERS: Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Smart sensors can be incorporated with fleet management and intelligent routing software for a comprehensive waste collection process.

MORE INFORMATION: Publication, “Smart garbage monitoring system using sensors”


90% of the world’s waste is collected at the wrong time. When it’s picked-up too late, overflowing containers lead to waste in nature. When waste is collected too early, empty waste bins waste time and collection resources. Optimizing the waste collection time, can increase waste collection rates and reduce litter, while also reducing collection costs.


Smart waste management is revolutionizing an industry facing a worldwide struggle to reduce costs while keeping our cities cleaner. An increasing number of people around the globe are realizing that the status quo is no longer acceptable and that the best solution is to develop and maintain smart waste management. Regardless of whether you represent a whole city, an organization, or a waste operator, the benefits from focusing on smart waste management are undeniable.
Smart waste management solutions can reduce costs with improved route optimization, resource handling and monitoring. Here’s how it works: 

  • Waste containers are equipped with a small sensor that measures the fill levels as well as a variety of other data points.
  • Waste managers can monitor in real time the waste bins that require servicing., with option to generate on-demand route maps that are optimized for the specific containers that need to be emptied.
  • Driver receive their daily routes that can include detailed navigation with turn-by-turn instructions and spoken directions.

The Evo Bin
The Evo Bin is an interactive educational recycling module mounted at collection points that shows users how to sort their waste with clever visual guidance. The Evo Bin’s interactive and educational videos at collection points can optimize the process of waste collection and sorting, thereby increasing collection rates and reducing downstream waste management costs. 

Nordsense develops smart sensors for waste bins to optimize the way waste collection is performed. Waste containers are equipped with a small sensor that measures fill levels and allows for real time waste bin surveillance. The platform also allows users to generate efficient, on-demand route maps that are optimized for the specific containers that need to be emptied.

The City of San Francisco deployed Nordsense and realized and 80% decrease in overflowing trash cans, 66% reduction in street cleaning requests, and 64% decrease in illegal dumping.

Recykal is an end-to-end cloud-based waste and recycle-enabling technology that connects waste generators with collectors, processors and recyclers. The software assures transparency and traceability in supply chains, transparency in pricing and recorded electronic payments to improve conditions for wastepickers.

Kabadiwalla Connect 
Kabadiwalla Connect helps leverage a city’s existing informal waste infrastructure in the collection and processing of post-consumer waste. Kabadiwalla’s research into the informal sector and commercial pilots in India, Indonesia, and the Ivory Coast provide strong evidence to the commercial, environmental, and social benefits of forming mutual partnerships with stakeholders in the informal waste supply chain. Solutions offered include spatially enabled, industry-compliant data-collection on informal waste infrastructure; transaction-based material tracking and traceability across stakeholders in the informal supply chain; and hyperlocal reverse-logistics solutions for post-consumer waste management, powered by local informal scrap shops.

Other smart bins and receptacle sensors available in the marketplace include:


Swachhtha App
The Swachhata App and Portal is used by citizens to help municipal corporations identify unclean areas in 4,041 cities throughout India. When a citizen spots a cleanliness-related issue in the city, he or she can use the app to take a picture, chose a category and file a complaint, which is immediately monitored by a municipal corporation’s designated officials. Complaints are then assigned by the nodal officers to the relevant field official who gets a notification on the SBM Engineer App installed on his or her phone. The assigned official then goes, resolves the complaint and takes a picture as a proof that the complaint is resolved. The status of the complaint being resolved and the picture is then sent back in the citizen app as a notification to the citizen that the situation has been rectified. The citizen can then give feedback on how the municipal corporation performed on the complaint lodged by giving a “happy, neutral or sad” response and can also re-open the complaint if the citizen feels the complaint was not resolved at all.
For more information, visit:

Litterati is an app that enables users to collect geo-tagged images of litter. This data is recorded, mapped and used as a guide to develop and implement effective waste management solutions. The Litterati community has grown to over 160,000 people across 165 countries.

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