Port of Amsterdam has launched a 6-month pilot project involving the use of two sustainable and innovative waste collection systems. Both systems are fitted with sensors which provide data over the internet regarding the fill rates of the waste containers. One of the systems, the ‘Bigbelly’, is equipped with a compression system that operates on solar energy generated by a solar panel installed on top of the waste container.
‘Smart’ waste container
A total of ten sensor-equipped waste containers have been installed in various locations around the Amsterdam port area, including around the Sloterdijk railway station and in the port’s Houthavens area. In addition, ‘Bigbelly’ containers have been installed on Pier 14 (see image) and in three locations around Sloterdijk station. These waste containers are fitted both with sensors and their own compression system. By compressing the waste, the amount of waste the container can accommodate before it reaches its fill capacity increases by five, thereby reducing service frequency. The real-time sensor data produced by both types of waste containers is used not only to determine if and when a container must be emptied, but also to establish the smartest (i.e. most efficient) route for the vehicle used to empty the containers.
A waste collection system such as Bigbelly can be a practical option for usage in high-traffic public spaces where maintaining a neat and attractive appearance is an important factor in addition to efficiency, such as cruise terminals.
The key benefit of sustainable and innovative waste collection systems is that they help to significantly reduce the number of vehicle movements, resulting in time savings, improved fuel economy, and reduced carbon emissions. If the pilot project is successful, Port of Amsterdam will be introducing more of these types of waste collection systems and will require contractors to also start using these smart options, providing them with the appropriate specifications.