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With the ongoing expansion of the Internet of Things industry,  more and more aspects of our lives move over to the smart side. Nowadays, most of us won’t bat an eye at the sight of an intelligent light system, but what about an IoT-integrated residential garbage containers? Thanks to a new collaboration between Orange and GZM, the city of Mysłowice may soon get a chance to try out the technology, one emptied trash bin at a time.

Managing municipal waste is a major issue in modern cities – the existing technology often cannot keep up with the amount of garbage we produce. While garbage pickup trucks operate on a schedule, it does not take into account the population density of districts, or overflows in specific areas. This is where IoT could help – by implementing a network of CAT-M1 sensors, cities could monitor which containers should be emptied as a priority, and which can be put in a queue before getting picked up.

The pilot run in Mysłowice comes as a follow-up to the agreement signed by GZM and Orange back in June. You may remember our previous post about the 5G field tests conducted in Gliwice, and the IoT-based waste management project in Mysłowice is the next step towards making GZM’s cities smarter than ever before.

Mysłowice is open to modern technological solutions. (…) After the introduction of intelligent urban monitoring and lighting management system, we are opening to new possibilities. The specificity of the urban layout of the city gives rise to different needs of residents, depending on which area of the city they live in. [Their issues] differ in northern districts with mostly multi-family housing, and in other areas where single-family houses are more common. The implemented solution will enable us to help to improve waste management by taking into account the actual needs of residents. – says the Mayor of the city of Mysłowice Edward Lasok.

Based on Orange’s 4G network, the CAT-M1 technology enables data transfers between sensors, servers, and systems at a high density – it can service as many as a million devices in a single square kilometer. The solution does not require a lot of battery power to operate, and can reach sensors in locations with weaker reception, such as underground garages, or basement. In order to adapt the technology to urban waste management, Orange has collaborated with Mysłowice-based EDZ, which specializes in implementing advanced IoT solutions.

Apart from overflow notifications, the company aims to integrate the technology with its navigation network. Initially, the system will enable garbage trucks to select the best-suited route for collections, but Orange’s end-plan is much more ambitious. Intelligent waste management should not be limited only to providing information – through the mobile network – that it is full. It is equally important that the process management system communicates with the waste collection vehicles in order to empty the [overflown] container. Thanks to the integration with the navigation network, it should be able to pick the optimal route. As for the gathered data, [in the long run] it should point us towards places which would need more containers, the dates when they should be emptied, or estimate the future needs of the city. – explains Sebastian Grabowski, IoT and Advanced Technologies Director at Orange Polska.

For more information about the project, feel free to check out Orange Polska’s website.