NEC Corporation is developing a smart waste collection solution for the city of Santander in Spain in partnership with waste management service provider ASCAN.
The solution uses sensors that collect real-time data on rubbish and recycling bin levels enabling the cleaning team to optimise collection intervals and routes. The new service is expected to reduce vehicle emissions and running costs by eliminating journeys to bins that are virtually empty and result in fewer incidences of overflowing bins.
The just-in-time waste collection service uses machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors that record the volume of rubbish in the bins, which is relayed via data collectors, repeaters and the mobile network to the control centre. The city’s street sweeping team and citizens will also be able to use the ‘Cuida Santander’ app to report problems with illegal dumping.
The refuse collection vehicles are being equipped with onboard GPS tracking and navigation systems. The application software automatically recommends and distributes the most efficient collection routes to the teams and highlights locations that require immediate attention.
New environmental sensors on the vehicles will monitor carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from car exhausts, which can cause smog and high ozone levels. This will help to create a more granular and comprehensive environmental map of the city and enable officials to take prompt action to safeguard the health of citizens.
NEC is also working with everis – the consulting, IT and outsourcing professional services company – on the project, leveraging its existing agreement to cooperate on smart city solutions.
Iñigo de la Serna, mayor of Santander, said: "This project will help ensure the city of Santander has the most efficient waste collection service, while helping to reduce vehicle emissions and running costs. Once again Santander is demonstrating itself as an innovator in the use of smart city technologies to improve the delivery of public services for citizens."
Santiago Diaz, VP of ASCAN, commented: "We’re proud to be part of this pioneering project to improve waste collection services in Santander and create an even cleaner city for citizens to enjoy. By knowing how full the bins are and the location of our collection teams, we’ll be able to eliminate unnecessary trips to empty bins, reducing costs and resulting in a greener collection service."
"NEC has unrivalled expertise in integrating smart city M2M sensors with data analysis and visualisation software to create a total solution that contributes to the welfare of communities around the world,” commented Jaime Serrano, president and CEO of NEC Iberica.
“We’re pleased to be helping Santander play a pioneering role in actively managing smart city services to improve the quality of life for citizens, while minimising their impact on the environment and operational costs."
NEC also offers smart cities its Cloud City Operations Center (CCOC) platform that is used to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) relating to a wide range of public services, create predictive models and manage work streams.
Key data sets from around a city can be cross-referenced and displayed in real-time on large format touch-screen displays in the control room. For example, carbon monoxide, traffic and temperature levels can be continuously monitored and automatic alerts issued via the smart city app and local media outlets when air quality thresholds are exceeded.