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The global amount of waste produced is steadily rising. With the amount of waste, the importance of an efficient processing of waste grows. Intelligent waste logistic covers the waste chain from the pick-up of the waste at the inhabitants' place to the processing of recycling and destruction. Route optimizations for garbage trucks are part of an intelligent waste system. This can be approached by using smart bins, which are able to report their current state. The solution can also be implemented as an underground waste collection system. To improve the processing of the collected garbage, waste sorting robots can be used. 


Main Benefits
  • Reducing operation costs

  • Reducing GHG emissions

  • Improving personnel efficiency

Potential Benefits
  • Promoting sustainable disposal of waste

  • Enhanced data collection

  • Recycling waste


Functions help you to understand what the products can do for you and which ones will help you achieve your goals.
Each solution has at least one mandatory function, which is needed to achieve the basic purpose of the solution, and several additional functions, which are features that can be added to provide additional benefits.

Mandatory Functions
    processing waste
    collelcting waste
Potential Functions
    optimising pick-up routes
    monitoring waste bins

Business Model

Market Overview

The importance of sustainable garbage processing is expected to rise in future. Currently, in Western Europe, almost 1.2 kg per day and inhabitant are produced. This amount is quickly rising and will not peak this century without transformational changes in how we use and reuse materials. By 2100, it is estimated that the growing global urban population will be producing three times as much waste as it does today. This level of waste carries serious consequences—physical and fiscal—for cities around the world. Therefore, the impact of intelligent waste logistic is high and steadily increasing. By 2024 the waste to energy market size is estimated at $35.5 billion.  

(Yann Glouche and Paul Couderc, 2013; IBM, 2015; Recycling Magazine, 2017)

Example Ecub Lab

Ecube Lab offers a system including smart bins that are able to compress the garbage and report the fill-level and a Clean City Network which is a web-based real-time route optimisation for garbage trucks. The truck driver can use a mobile App to be navigated on the optimal route. This system is able to prevent overfilled bins and minimise costs resources and emissions. Due to manufacturer specifications, the implementation of this system can save 80 percent of operational costs in comparison to a conventional garbage collection system.



(Ecub Lab, 2017)


Example: pipe system for waste collection

In this system, waste is disposed in bins that connect to an underground pipe system. Waste ends up in a compactor before being stored in containers in a  collection station. This technology reduces the need for trucks in the area where waste is generated, prevents overload, improves hygiene, reduces fire hazards and smells. Cities like Barcelona, London, Copenhagen, and Bergen have already implemented such system in some areas of the city.

Driving Factors

Supporting Infrastructure

Smartphone availability for navigation might be helpful, as most of the route optimization tools are based on Apps.

Government Initiatives

The 7th Environment Action Programme sets the following priority objectives for waste policy in the EU:

  • to reduce the amount of waste generated,
  • to maximise recycling and re-use,
  • to limit incineration to non-recyclable materials,
  • to phase out landfilling to non-recyclable and non-recoverable waste
  • to ensure full implementation of the waste policy targets in all Member States. 

(European Comission, 2016)

Legal Requirements


  • Articles 11 and 191-193 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: combating climate change is an explicit objective of EU environmental policy (European Parliament, 2009)

  • Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union: Sustainable development is an overarching objective for the EU, which is committed to a ‘high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment’ (European Parliament, 2009)


Use Cases



Intelligent waste management system in Ludwigsburg

Owing to the Sustainability strategy of the city of Ludwigsburg, the municipality aims at optimizing the waste collection routes in the city. As a pilot project the city has installed cameras with inbuilt sensors in the 15 waste bins across the city.



Optimized city cleaning with garbage sensors in public garbage cans in Reutlingen

An intelligent waste collection system, based on sensor inputs from the underground waste bins and the shafts, is implemented to optimize waste handling and to improve cleanliness and appearance of the historic city center of Reutlingen.


Automated waste collecting system

Within the Grow Smarter project in Stockholm, an automated waste collection system has been implemented in an existing neighborhood. The goal is to enable a cost efficient and smart waste solution for residential areas.


Waste collection statistics for individual households

Collecting waste statistics is one sub-solution under the Smart Waste Management measure of Grow Smarter project. It is able to provide feedback to end users on their waste segregation habit. 


Big Belly Bins

The 'Big Belly Bins' are fitted with waste compactors which ensure they need emptied less often than standard designs. The innovative bins have proved to need emptying 7 times less than standard bin designs. They use wireless technology to alert authorities when they are full.




Travel Time Optimisation Through Queue Detection Technology for Enhancing the Circular Economy

Deployed overhead sensors to digitalise the whole recycling site and created an algorithm that calculates waiting time dependent on the number of cars queuing and the number of cars on the site.



Intelligent Building: Improved Customer Experience

Creating the ultimate customer experience for building tenants and building managers by connecting conversational AI with the building’s devices.

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