- Tiger Analytics worked with a leading waste management company to harness advanced data analytics to improve compliance concerning commercial waste management. This article is in continuation to the ‘Notes from Tiger Analytics’ series.
Improper waste management has a devastating impact on the environment, especially in commercial areas. The realisation may not be sudden, but it is certainly gathering momentum – considering that more companies are now looking to minimise their impact on the environment. Of course, it’s easier said than done. Since the dawn of the 21st century, the sheer volume and pace of commercial growth have been unprecedented. But the fact remains that smart waste management is both a business and a social responsibility.
Importance of commercial waste management
The commercial waste management lifecycle comprises collection, transportation, and disposal. Ensuring that all the waste materials are properly handled throughout the process is a matter of compliance. After all, multiple environmental regulations dictate how waste management protocols should be implemented and monitored. Instituting the right waste management guidelines also helps companies fulfil their ethical and legal responsibility of maintaining proper health and safety standards at the workplace.
Furthermore, with climate change becoming more recognised as a severe threat to the environment, the impact of ineffective commercial waste management is on the minds of employees and customers too. Hence, companies are both motivated and under pressure to champion sustainability across the locations in which they operate.
For instance, all the waste materials generated in commercial buildings are stored in bins placed at strategic locations. If companies do not utilise them effectively, it will lead to bin overflows causing severe financial, reputational, and legal repercussions.
Impact of data analytics on commercial waste management
Data analytics eliminates compliance issues that stem from overflowing bins by bridging any operational gaps. In addition, it provides the precise know-how for creating intelligent waste management workflows. With high-quality video cameras integrated into the chassis of their waste collection trucks, image-based analytics can be captured and shared through a cloud-hosted platform for real-time visual detection. From these, data insights can be extracted to evaluate when the trash bins are getting filled and schedule the collection to minimise transportation, fuel, and labour expenses. They can also determine the right collection frequency, streamline collection routes, and optimise vehicle loads.
By monitoring real-time data from the video cameras, the flow of waste in each bin can be managed promptly to avoid compliance-related repercussions. The trucks also receive real-time data on the location of empty bins, which helps them chart optimal routes and be more fuel-conscious.
Ultimately, leveraging sophisticated data analytics helps build a leaner and greener waste management system. In addition, it can improve operational efficiency while taking an uncompromising stance on environmental and health sustainability.
Tiger Analytics’ waste management modelling use case for a large manufacturer
Overflowing bins are a severe impediment in the waste management process as they increase the time required to process the waste. Waste collection trucks will have to spend more time than budgeted for ensuring that they handle overflowing bins effectively – without any spillage in and around the premises. It is also difficult for them to complete their trips on time. When dealing with commercial bins, the situation is even more complicated. The size and contents of the commercial bins vary based on the unique waste disposal requirements of businesses.
Recently, Tiger Analytics worked with a leading waste management company to harness advanced data analytics to improve compliance concerning commercial waste management.
Previously, the client had to record videos of the waste pick up process and send them for manual review. The videos were used to identify the commercial establishments that did not follow the prescribed norms on how much waste could be stored in a bin. However, their video review process was inefficient and tedious.
When the pick up takes place, the manual reviewer is expected to watch hours of video clips and images captured by each truck to determine violators. Thus, there was an uncompromising need for accuracy since overflowing bins led to compliance violations and potential penalties.
Tiger Analytics developed a solution that leveraged video analytics to help determine whether a particular bin in an image was overflowing or not. Using cutting-edge deep learning algorithms, the solution enabled a high level of accuracy and eliminated all activities related to the manual video review and the associated costs.
Tiger Analytics’ solution was based on a new data classification algorithm that increased the efficiency of the waste collection trucks. Based on the sensor data collected from the chassis, we empowered the client to predict the collection time when the truck was five seconds away from being in the vicinity of a bin. Furthermore, with advanced monitoring analytics, we reduced the duration of the review process from 10 hours to 1.5 hours, which boosted workforce efficiency too.
As a result, the client could effortlessly de-risk their waste management approach and prevent overflow in commercial bins. Some of the business benefits of our solution were:
- More operational efficiency by streamlining how pickups are scheduled
- Smarter asset management through increased fuel efficiency and reduced vehicle running costs
- Improved workforce productivity – with accelerated critical processes like reviewing videos to confirm the pickup
- Quick risk mitigation of any overflow negligence that leads to compliance violations
New avenues of leveraging advanced analytics continue to pave the way for eco-conscious and sustainable business practices. Especially in a highly regulated sector like commercial waste management, it provides the much-needed accuracy, convenience, and speed to strengthen day-to-day operations and prevent compliance issues.
Day by day, commercial waste management is growing into a more significant catalyst for societal progress. As mentioned earlier, more companies are becoming mindful of their impact on the environment. In addition, the extent of infrastructure development has taken its toll – thereby exponentially increasing the need to optimise waste disposal and collection methods. Either way, data provides a valuable understanding of how it should be done.
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Arvind Mahishi is part of the consulting group at Tiger and brings in close to 20 years of experience working with customers across domains. He leads teams in delivering solutions that address business problems and works with customers in driving adoption and measuring business value delivered through these solutions.