Smart waste management, one bin at a time

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Creating waste is what humans seem to do best, and we’re getting better at it.

By 2025 it is predicted that 4.3 billion city dwellers will produce up to 1.42 kg of ‘municipal solid waste’ per capita per day.

There are a handful of startups around the world producing sensors for bins. These take away the hassle of municipalities and local governments focusing on emptying containers according to predefined schedules. It’s a system that is inefficient and a poor use of time and money. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a way out of this and Evreka Smart Waste Collection Systems is one of those startups.

Everka's desktop software for tracking bins and their use. (Images via Evreka)

Based in Ankara, Turkey, they produce sensors that are placed inside large bins, typically used by municipalities, to measure how full they are.

Currently they have nearly 3,000 sensors in operation, one for each bin. These sensors, which are paid for by clients on a per sensor, per month, basis, will not only monitor the volumetric fullness level of a bin, and alert the waste collectors when a bin is ready to be emptied, but it can also monitor the weight of a bin, (typically glass collectors sell by weight).

For founder Umutcan Duman this allows them to collect “deeper analysis”. One of their clients in Turkey, Parkcam (one of the biggest glass producers in Turkey) is using the analysis to find out which neighborhoods are recycling and which in turn might need more outreach.

“We have prediction algorithms to predict future waste collection needs as well so that city governments can plan their fleet earlier,” Duman told Wamda.

They want to be in Europe and the Middle East by the the end of the second quarter of 2017, and they see strategic partnerships as the key to this.

The Evreka team, Umutcan Duman, second from right. 

First there are the municipalities around Turkey. There are 1,000 in total and so far they are in touch with 100 of them. They have one municipal client in Ankara and nine others around the country, including three municipalities in Istanbul.

To move into Europe and the Middle East they are looking for local partners. They already have a client in Lausanne, Switzerland, a private company that manages glass collection containers.

“We know that waste management is a very specific sector and it is not easy to understand everything from abroad,” Duman told Wamda. “We want to establish strong relationships with local partners like waste management companies, waste container producers, waste collection truck producers etcetera.”

They are of course not reinventing the wheel. According to Duman there are two other companies in Turkey and in Europe and the Middle East there is competition. However, Duman isn’t phased by this. For him, the 1,000 municipalities of Turkey, alone, shows just how much space there is to be covered by such a product as theirs.

And the interest in growing. As our waste production increases there is more interest in how to deal with it and as such, more investment will be made. Navigant Research in the US predicted that by 2023 annual revenue from smart waste technology would reach $6.3 billion. In the UAE money is also going into smart waste collection - last year Abu Dhabi announced they were to invest one billion Emirati dirhams in a new smart waste system.

They will shortly be launching their application that will allow citizens and municipalities to be able to locate the appropriate containers for their waste (glass, plastic or paper, etcetera). They also recently closed a round $740,000 with 500 Startups, and Turkish investors Sanko, Nexus Venture and Filip Minasyan, the owner of Turkey’s largest waste collection truck producer.

Feature image via Evreka.

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