9 Innovative Waste Management Technologies That can Drastically Reduce Operational Costs

The biggest issues in the waste management industry arise from the improper handling of waste. For example, the recycling rate in the United States is only 28% because of the improper handling of recyclable waste by both consumers and waste management companies.

This is why the need for waste management technologies is so prominent across the globe. Implementing smart waste management methods can not only benefit the environment but can also prove to be profitable for waste management businesses.

But in the sea of new technologies springing up every day, it can become difficult to sort through and find the most cost-effective or innovative options to implement. So, it is best to consult an article that exclusively covers the futuristic technology that holds the most potential.

Do We Really Need Advanced Technologies to Contain Waste? 

Innovation is very much needed for the waste management industry as it not only helps the environment but it also presents new opportunities for improvement. The current waste management practices are getting more expensive due to higher demand and regulations.

This is where implementing smart waste technologies can help to ease the workload and costs that are faced by both consumers and businesses. One of the biggest issues is sorting recyclable materials, this is where something like an AI sorter could make a massive difference.

Seeing how simply using a bit of smart waste management technology can improve processes, it quickly becomes apparent why it is so essential in the modern world. Let us now look at some bits of technology that can truly revolutionize the waste management process. 

Top 9 Futuristic Waste Management Technologies

Throughout history, technology has always helped us further achieve sustainable waste management practices. This is why it is important to look at all the possible emerging technologies that can help businesses perform better waste management. 

1. Pneumatic waste tubes

Pneumatic tubes are already implemented in institutions such as hospitals and warehouses. They work by using air pressure through tubes to transport objects. Anything that is placed in the tube is propelled by high-pressure air to the given destination with the help of valves. 

While this technology would basically eliminate the need for garbage trucks and speed up operations, it is still not a viable option for many. This is because of the dangers of pressurized air and the high cost of installation for pneumatic waste collection systems on a large scale. 

2. E-waste kiosks

The E-waste recycling kiosks have been popping up at various locations, though they haven’t been utilized much because they only recycle certain products. There is also a lack of awareness when it comes to the existence of such technology. 

Usually, these kiosks are expensive automatic machines and exclusively recycle smartphones and tablets. This fact severely limits its viability as a good waste management solution due to the high cost and limited operational capacity. 

3. AI-based waste collector

The massive problem of improper waste sorting is one that haunts the recycling industry the most. This is where automating waste sorting with AI could create an impact. AI has already made massive strides in the world of facial recognition and object detection. 

AI-based waste collector - waste management technologies

Though despite these strides there are still AI waste-sorting mistakes that hamper its efficacy in commercial applications. There is also the fact that these optical sorters are very expensive and thus are not implemented at a large number of waste management centers. 

4. Smart waste bins

Smart waste bins hold the potential to forever alter the way we manage waste in our day-to-day lives as they can be implemented even on a personal level. A smart waste bin could have numerous applications, though the best application might be for waste sorting and collection.

A smart waste bin could not only sort waste on its own but could also have fill-level sensors that aid in the quick removal of waste once the container is full. The only problem is that the price of these waste containers could be what deter the masses from utilizing them.

5. Garbage compactors 

Garbage compactors are an essential part of the waste management industry as it helps to contain the space consumed by waste. Using solar power to fuel these machines is a great way to not only reduce energy costs but also expand the areas where compactors can be installed. 

Using solar-powered compactors not only allows them to be installed in remote areas but also in urban areas. Doing this will reduce the load on centralized waste disposal locations and will make the process of waste management much faster because of the local treatment. 

6. Plasma gasification 

Plasma gasification is one of the most promising technologies when it comes to smart waste management, as its applications can very well be revolutionary. In this technology, plasma is used to heat waste at high temperatures to produce hydrogen gas and a glass-like substance.

The glass-like substance can be used in the field of construction, however, the real benefit is the hydrogen gas that can be used in hydrogen fuel cells.  Hydrogen fuel cells are already used to fuel vehicles, drones, and green energy. This is why plasma gasification is held in such high regard.

7. Automated recycling centers

Because the process of recycling electronic waste is mostly handled by machines and is quite straightforward, it can easily be automated. Such automated recycling centers can ideally eliminate the need for human effort or attention.

Though the days of robot recycling centers are far ahead as there is still room for error when it comes to automating the recycling process. Still, the use of artificial intelligence in waste management applications march on as the search for the perfect solution progresses. 

8. Garbage truck enhancements

Garbage trucks can utilize plenty of technological innovations to make waste management operations faster and easier. One such way is by using garbage truck weighing mechanisms that help in predicting when the truck will be at capacity.

This can be used to streamline and distribute waste collection trips in a way that makes the optimal use of these garbage trucks. There is also scope for self-driving trucks in the near future which could help in minimizing waste transportation costs.

9. Automated routing process

One way to improve your existing waste collection process instantly is by using automated route planning software. This is because the cost of implementation for this solution is the lowest on this list and yet the benefits are numerous for any waste management business. 

A route planner can drastically help you save both time and money spent on fuel while not disrupting existing operations. While the benefits of route planning software are quite well-known the real problem is finding the best route planner for a waste management company. 

So, these were the 9 waste management technologies that are helping waste management businesses to save time and double the profits. If you’re wondering how it helps in waste disposal, let’s shed light on its benefits.

Check out the Top Waste Management Industry Trends that are trending in 2023

Waste management route planning

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Some Notable Benefits of Smart Waste Management

  • Even if you are into smart waste management simply for its financial benefits then you will not be disappointed as technology has something for everyone.

    Because of smart waste management technologies a business can not only deliver better services and reduce costs.

  • There are plenty of examples where businesses use smart technology to refine their regular operations. The best way to understand the real-world implications of these technologies is by looking at existing applications that greatly benefit businesses that deal with garbage.

    For example, a recycling business can easily use an AI garbage sorter to increase its returns when it comes to recyclable materials. Meanwhile, a regular waste collection business can boost its operational speed and cut down on running costs with a great route planning solution.

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Utilize Upper to Find Efficient Routes for Timely Waste Pickups

Most waste management solutions cost a fortune to implement and their efficiency is always under question. Though out of all these solutions, one stands apart as the most reliable and effective way to reduce costs for waste management companies. 

You guessed it right. A route planning solution such as Upper for your waste collection business. Upper is an automated route planning solution that makes sure that you can fit in as many waste collection stops in your single route as possible while reducing fuel costs. 

With class-leading route optimization performance, you get nothing but the best operational efficiency. The best part is that thanks to the automated process used by Upper, you can craft these highly efficient routes within a few seconds i.e you don’t need to spend extra time planning routes.

Schedule Your Waste Collection Stops on Upper

Planning manually for each waste collection stop can badly affect your efficiency. Take benefit of Upper’s automated process and set yourself free from extra workload.


One of the ways in which IoT can be used for waste management is by fitting waste level sensors on trash cans and dumpsters. These sensors can help to facilitate the quick removal of waste in the waste cans that are full or at nearly full capacity.

While it is possible to be better at waste management without technology, it is extremely hard. This is because without technology you can only rely on humans to make the right disposal actions which is extremely unlikely given that there are already preset guidelines that people do not follow.

The reason why every new method to improve waste management is not implemented is because of the cost and unreliability of the ideas. Before a solution is implemented it has to go through numerous tests and then has to secure enough funding to be installed locally.

Waste management technologies are typically expensive due to their lack of production and implementation. Once a commodity is produced at a large scale, its price naturally drops down as it becomes more and more used by the masses.


It is pretty clear that smart waste management technologies are the future when it comes to waste management operations. This is because their efficiency and impact on the environment simply cannot be ignored as the climate situation worsens day by day.

Therefore, it is so crucial to implement these technologies as soon as possible. But alas, these technologies come at a cost and this is the literal cost of implementation. These technologies are by no means affordable and obviously will take a long while to become a regular sight.

However, there is still one proven option for businesses to refine their operations by using Upper route planner for their service routes. The power that Upper grants you is best experienced by oneself, this is why you must try out Upper with our 7-day free trial.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner, a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs. Read more.