6 Ways AI Can Revolutionize Waste Management

In the world we live in today, technology runs in almost every aspect of our lives. Tech developers partner with businesses to provide convenience and comfort. The things we used to do before the invention of all these smart electronics now seems like an impossibility. Aside from that, AI helps us to work smarter. 

In essence, it aids in providing us means to analyze data faster, improve production processes, develop workflow efficiency, identify problems faster, and so much more. The best thing about AI is that it is constantly learning from previous issues, and improves itself. This machine learning technology can aid in our day to day lives, as well as the environment.

A good example is when we automate all our manual processes into digital processes, we reduce the consumption of paper. With the help of Artificial Intelligence or AI and its constant upgrades, the world will be depending greatly on technology, bringing another era of change. In fact, according to this survey conducted by Forbes, environmentalists can utilize technology to help with numerous issues, including poaching, deforestation, species detection, and more.

Specifically, though, it can help with proper waste management, which includes waste disposal. AI can greatly help us as we strive to perfect our processes in managing waste to help cure the environment. From medical waste to recyclables, see the top six ways AI can revolutionize waste management.

1. Maximizes the Waste Segregation Process

With the continuous updates software engineers are putting into AI, the risk factors depreciate. In terms of waste management, segregating your garbage is now done more efficiently and effectively. That is because improper waste disposal can cause adverse effects not only on the environment but also to our overall health and public safety.

Let us use medical waste as an example. Typically, medical wastes will include syringes or other sharp objects, contaminated equipment, etc. If those were not to be properly segregated, people might accidentally get in contact with these objects and harm themselves. That is why it is vital that you stay updated with a comprehensive medical waste disposal guide, especially if you are handling waste from hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities.

Today, waste disposal businesses can utilize the use of RFID tags to gather all generated waste. Then, a pneumatic garbage disposal system will scan these tags and dictate the best way to dispose of the waste product. Right now, there are several South Korean cities that are using this method for separating wastes.

2. Increases the Demand for Smart Waste Disposal

Smart trash bins are also being used nowadays. In its most basic sense, a smart trash bin is shaped just like a regular trash bin but offers advanced tools. They are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows them to notify servers regarding the bin’s content status, such as waste levels, type of waste, as well as the proper waste disposal method. The North American smart trash bin had a market size of $7.72 million in 2019 and is estimated to grow to $8.14 in 2020. Plus, its market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9% starting from 2018 to 2025.

Their increasing market size is proof that consumers and businesses are slowly investing their money towards a more sustainable future. And aside from that, with continual support, we may see all waste disposal processes automated with machine learning.

3. Introduces Smart Recycling

Recycling itself is key to keeping the environment safe while offering a sustainable future. However, there are still a few inefficiencies with the methods of recycling. That is where AI comes in, and presents smart recycling.

Before, we needed to sort through many tons of trash in order to determine whether they are recyclable or not. Now, and in relation to the previous point, we have intelligent trash cans that can help increase efficiency. Like with those RFID tags, today’s garbage bins are also equipped with the latest sensors in order to find out whether the contents are eligible for recycling plants or whether they are meant for the landfill.

4. Reduces the Production of Waste

The best way to manage waste is by limiting the production of it, or as environmentalists would say, eliminate it; with the help of AI, this can be achieved. This is essential for businesses that sell items with an expiration date. Humans can easily forget which products have an earlier expiration date. Therefore, it can lead to these products not being sold and left for disposal. With the help of software, it can help minimize these human errors while keeping production as optimal as possible. This way, your team will easily identify which items are to be sent out first.

The next step would be to pair your products with reusable or recyclable packaging. This encourages your customers to recycle the packaging, which helps avoid waste production altogether.

5. Improves Safety

Handling waste is not an easy job, and it can even be quite harmful at times. As mentioned earlier, a good example is a mishandling of medical waste products. One wrong move can lead to harmful effects on the environment, as well as a concern for the public. Today, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), has strict rules when it comes to medical waste.

Other than that, there are plenty of safety hazards involved in waste handling. These would include being exposed to harmful substances, such as lead, cyanide, and mercury, as well as accidental explosions from methane, build up. It would be much safer if you are in an office, observing the machines handle the waste.

6. Boosts Waste Management Efficiency

The sole purpose of technology is to increase efficiency; whether it is in your home or at your place of work, it exists to make things more accessible. In terms of work, it shows that when we bombard employees with several tasks, it will cause a 68% decrease in productivity, according to this article. Automating all processes on a digital system can help avoid that issue.

The same goes for waste management. Having the help of machines can greatly affect your company’s efficiency when it comes to disposing of garbage. This will quicken the process, which will help you turn your focus towards other vital tasks.


Proper waste management is quite difficult. There are many challenges that one needs to face to achieve it. These include insufficient data collection, promoting recycling, protecting the public from harmful chemical substances, and more. However, with the help of software, these challenges can be overcome. It will improve safety, boost efficiency, gather relevant data, and more. Technology is here to help us build a sustainable future. 

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