Digital initiatives for waste treatment

What are the digital and technological innovations put in place by the players in the transformation and recovery of waste sector?

Predictive maintenance and intelligent waste collection

The strategic committee of the Transformation and recovery of waste sector unveiled last year the new contract for the sector with ambitious projects to support the sector in its transformation.

This sector, made up of actors positioned on collection, sorting, preparation, recovery and recycling activities, finds itself faced with the need to place its waste management activities more in line with a saving logic circular in order to meet the challenges of ecological transition and the objectives set by the regulatory and legal framework.

The Energy Transition Law for Green Growth and the Circular Economy Roadmap plan to reduce landfill by 50% between 2010 and 2025, thus reinforcing the need to initiate the transformation of the sector in order to improve performance.

The contract of the strategic committee of the sector which signs a commitment between the State and the actors of the sector outlines its contours, in particular by highlighting robotization and data collection.

There are many avenues of innovation with the integration of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, connected objects and even 3D printing.

What are the digital and technological innovations put in place by actors in the transformation and recovery of waste sector?

Robotisation and AI at the service of sorting centers

Demand for raw materials has become very complex. Indeed, where 6 chemical elements of Mendeleev’s classification were needed to build a mill, today it takes 60 to build a wind turbine.

Faced with this observation, the sector must innovate in order to take into account these new requirements and constraints and therefore to modernize its sorting centers. Experiments are going well and the robotic triptych, artificial intelligence and digital innovations opens the way to a new generation of sorting centers.

France installed a robot in an Amiens factory to increase the amount of sorted waste and the quality of selection. A first step in its installation consisted of sending hundreds of thousands of photos to its database. The robot was therefore able to distinguish paper and cardboard from cans and plastic bottles to be removed from the sorting stream.

During the second stage of its initialization, it was necessary to adapt the algorithm based on artificial intelligence and deep learning so that the robot is even more precise and learns from its errors. At cruising speed, the robot removes sorting flow 60% more waste per hour than an operator.

To ensure quality control after sorting by the robot, an operator from the waste management company, equipped with a tablet, remains present at the end of the chain to collect the 10% of waste forgotten by the robot. Via the tele-operated sorting, the operator indicates on his tablet the waste to be removed from the treadmill and an articulated arm comes out of the flow.

The implementation of this type of intelligent sorting robots, equipped with learning mechanisms for recognizing the different wastes whose acquired knowledge would be shared with all the sorting operators in the territory, constitutes an important development issue on which to rely. the sector’s strategic committee.

Predictive maintenance and intelligent waste collection

Sorting is not the only area of ​​the transformation and recovery sector to benefit from digital and technological innovations. The Energy Recovery Units (incinerators) and landfill sites have implemented computer-assisted maintenance management software for the past few years to help technicians trace their maintenance interventions.

Cross-referenced with data from connected objects installed on the equipment, manufacturers want to move towards predictive maintenance to better anticipate the need for spare parts, the mobilization of specialists and no longer act in an emergency, thus guaranteeing better safety of the intervening technicians.

Connected objects also make it possible to optimize waste logistics and in particular waste collection. A company has set up a connected waste management center near Lyon.

By centralizing the data from the sensors located on the garbage collection trucks and on the dumpsters and crossing them with the garbage collection areas required by their customers, the pilot center teams select the best collection route offered by the optimization algorithm.

The deployment of type of sensors will gradually generalize the concept of connected trash which, thanks to the collected data of big data type such as the filling rate or the composition of waste, will optimize the management of the collection service and improve sorting performance.

The transformation and recovery of waste sector faces many challenges: falling raw material prices, deteriorating margins, the appearance of new players and new rules. The stakes are high for the historical actors of the sector who will have to find in the technological and digital innovations a new circular economic model in order to become a leader of the ecological transition.

It will be a question for the State, the local communities and the companies of finding a good calibration in order to invest massively in equipment and infrastructures integrating the new technologies and to anticipate the future processes of construction of the trades and skills of tomorrow. It is thanks to the agreement of all the stakeholders that we will be able to build a world for our children.

The Treatment of Household Waste

The management, treatment and recycling of waste result from an observation: the volumes of waste have multiplied since 1950, as well as their harmful effects on health, the environment and the economy.

Household waste is always the same. The content of household trash has changed little since the last survey in 1993. The main differences relate to sanitary textiles (wipes, diapers, etc.), which have increased, and toxic waste which has decreased. In detail, household waste includes:

  • 32.2% organic matter
  • 21.5% paper and cardboard
  • 12.7% glass
  • 11.2% plastics
  • 3% of metals
  • 19.4% of other items

Waste management is a crucial step. If we were content to store our waste in landfills, the problem of their accumulation would arise because, depending on their nature, they can degrade, and therefore disappear, very slowly.

To avoid being invaded by this waste and to limit the risks of pollution and poisoning which would result from it, waste treatment procedures are put in place. The principles applied, before and after the production of waste, are the reduction of volumes, the reduction of their toxicity, the improvement of their recycling (potential and realized) and the secure landfill of final waste.

As these processes are expensive, the spotlight is given to those who make it possible to recover waste.

Environmental and health issues

The accumulation of waste generates four types of nuisance.

1 / A deterioration of the living environment caused by visual nuisances (plastic bags hung in trees, macro-waste on beaches) or olfactory (organic matter in decomposition, combustion of chemical materials).

2 / An economic impact due to the loss of the attractiveness of a site following this deterioration of the living environment and the decrease in its productivity, in the case of a fishing area or agricultural land . To this can be added the additional costs caused by pollution control, in the case of drinking water for example, and by the societal consequences of intoxication: medical treatment, work stoppages, etc.

3 / Because there is also a health risk following injuries (shards of green, syringes …), poisoning (water, air pollution …) and diseases (bacterial proliferation, infestation of parasites, rats …).

4 / Finally, environmental pollution and ecological degradation during eutrophication of the environment, poisoning, suffocation or injury caused to wildlife when it absorbs or clings to waste.

More indirectly, waste is a reflection of our consumer society and its exploitation of natural and energy resources. Processing them for recovery is a way to compensate for the depletion of these resources and the degradation associated with their exploitation.

What is the life cycle of our waste? In the beginning was the product … well almost, since it is itself the product of transformation processes of raw materials. After its acquisition, this product is used until it is abandoned due to the loss of its technical utility (failure) or the evolution of the social context (fashion, regulatory evolution, etc.). It then becomes waste.

Plastic caps are also recyclable and companies like Kannapolis dumpster rental help increase awareness of their customers when it comes to recycling plastic items. This waste is, depending on the case, sorted, sold, given or collected, sorted, repaired or recharged or even transformed.

A fraction of the waste cannot, in the state of current technologies and economic feasibility, be recovered. This fraction forms the ultimate waste which, after possible reduction in their toxicity, is stored in specialized centers. These ultimate waste storage (CSDU) or technical landfill (CET) centers aim to prevent any leakage into the environment which could cause pollution or affect human health.

As these technical centers, formerly known more commonly as landfills, will be bequeathed to future generations, landfilling does not comply with the principles of sustainable development. The Federal government has therefore set the objective of reducing waste destined for landfill or incineration by 15% by 2022.

You have probably already noticed these logos on recycling, which can be found on the packaging of your products. What is their significance?

It is sometimes difficult to know what to do with your waste, even with the best will in the world. Is it biodegradable, therefore compostable? Is it recyclable? If so, should we put it with plastic, in landfill or elsewhere? Is it toxic?

The reflex is to turn to labels to find clues, but we then fall into a jungle of logos and symbols in the sometimes misleading sense. The most important is the Möbius ring, which symbolizes an endless cycle of recycling. Its presence indicates that the product is recyclable. Sometimes a percentage appears in the center, it means that the product already contains this percentage of recycled materials.

The other very common symbol found is the Green Dot with its double arrow which also evoked an endless cycle. Unfortunately, this logo is misleading because it does not mean that the product is recyclable or recycled! It just signals that the producer is participating in the recycling program for household packaging. This participation is a regulatory obligation which requires manufacturers to set up packaging processing structures or to subcontract this task to a third party to which they pay a fee.

Other logos provide information on the constitutive materials of the products and therefore facilitate the sorting of waste.

Finally, symbols indicate the toxic nature of the products or their contents, for humans or the environment. Their elimination must therefore take these risks into account. This is the case, for example, for drugs which should not be thrown in the trash, or worse in the sink or toilet, but must be the subject of a specific channel.

Labor psychology

Psychology of Labour can be broadly defined as the study of man in his workplace.

It analyzes the relationship between the individual and his work activity, the relationship between the individual and the organization to which it is subject, relations between groups or between organizations. Psychology of labour is twofold: one theoretical to constitute a body of knowledge on business and human subjectivity in work situations, the other practice in its diversity, in order to solve problems in various fields of intervention. Psychology of labour is thus born of a humanist commitment to adapting work to man.

The labour psychologist forms the analysis of labour in order to transform the professional community. He seeks to study behavior, skills, relationships within members of a company. His work is first and foremost to listen and advise. It occurs during job interviews to try to capture and understand the true personality of the candidate, he participates in career management, involved in the integration process or vocational rehabilitation, he conducts interviews for orientation and mobility, calls for training and also works on issues of pathology at work.

The occupational psychologist may serve different positions within a company. He can work either for the human resources department or occupational medicine. His positioning is related to the title of his post. As he is hired as a recruiter, an HR manager or an internal consultant, his way of working is different.

The constant changes in legislation on the safety of employees as well as ISO standards becoming indispensable have forced leaders to use consultants recurrently to implement the necessary steps to comply to these rulings. Many companies having had recourse to external consultants (independent or belonging to a consulting firm ) decided to entrust the task of looking for a permanent employee of the company.

For the internal consultant to be effective and efficient he must be innovative . Now, to be innovative , the consultant must have good flexibility. Numerous trainings enable internal consultants to get the tools necessary for such an approach.

In addition, they have the advantage of knowing the company, its stated objectives and actual customs, modes of communication , etc. The internal consultant is at home and logically knows every corner and the history of the company that may remain inaccessible to an external consultant.

Provided his situation is he preferable to an external consultant? This is not certain. Indeed, the employment contract between the employer and the internal consultant is not immune to subordination. The employee must not only do a good job but it also must please his employer, to keep his job.

In this position, the internal consultant can then be a tendency to a problem posed by its internal sponsor to accept the solution that this advances. However, no solution can be envisaged without a proper analysis of the order. In this context, the use of a psychologist working in this position will make the difference.

Indeed, it may be included in the employment contract a clause obligation to respect the code of ethics for psychologists. This protects the ethics insofar as it is to say what does and does not please the company. In addition, it involves the concept of professional secrecy. This concept requires only to reveal what is a direct and certain relationship with the current analysis. Insurance of professional secrecy by both the employer and the consultant allows other employees to provide information in confidence.

Another aspect of the advantage of using a psychologist work is his knowledge and mastery of many analytical techniques. It is tempting to quickly give the most obvious conclusion, the occupational psychologist knows how to give time to a thorough wary of evidence analysis. For example if an employee is caught playing online poker on his computer, it does not mean he is a gambling addict. Playing games once in a while could be fine depending of the achievements of a particular employee.

It is tempting for all the powers that are in the business to exploit the consultant (internal or external). The occupational psychologist is aware of the power plays in a company and knows how to protect himself from them. Another mistake is to move towards a solution that the consultant knows.

However, the occupational psychologist by his conduct has an obligation to update their knowledge. And it must constantly inform solutions that other companies put in place to solve various problems. This search for external information allows the psychologist job to be innovative.

There are other known social psychological bias, but it would take too long to detail here. Psychologists work remains a major asset in the company and a careful selection for the post of internal consultant is recommended.

7 Reasons why property is still the best investment

Are you looking to make a wise investment to perhaps build up a portfolio? You have many options. From trading in stocks and shares to investing in small businesses for equity, you can make investments in all manner of ways. One of the best places to start when looking for assistance in making the right investment, though is with real estate property.

If you work with a property management company especially, you can find it very easy to make telling changes and notable improvements to your general performance of your investment.

Property is without a doubt the best vehicule to make a great profitable investment. Used properly, the property has many benefits that other investments simply cannot offer you. Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons why property still reigns supreme as an investment option. Here aer seven reasons why property is still the best investment

1. At the moment, and this is obviously subject to change, interest rates are pretty dam fair. As we all know, low-interest rates = smaller monthly fees, so you can make more profits with the present system than in many years previous.

2. At the same time, the financial institutions of the world are kind enough to be lending out their money to the public once again. so, you should be able to get the investment needed without the outrageous requirements needed previously.

3. You can more or less run the whole thing online. You can make it easier for tenants to make payments, contact you, arrange maintenance and everything else without too much issue. Managing your property has probably never been so easy; that makes investing in property an investment well worth your while.

4. It’s so much easier to find people to help you run, manage and maintain all of your properties than it arguably ever has been. This should be wildly appealing to those who used to find the idea of running a property empire to be extensive or requiring too much personal effort.

5. Advertising has never been easier, either. The threat of being lumbered with a property you cannot move on any longer exists; you should be more than capable of getting interested in the property with the use of social media and classified ads to drum up the interest needed and expected.

6. Lastly, prices are just more reasonable today than they have been for a long time. While they aren’t the rock-bottom 2011-12 prices, they are still very reasonable and could be great for finding some excellent deals.

7. For those who prefer to be a touch more pragmatic and, some might say, immoral, you could turn to the world of foreclosures and pick up some crazy deals at the moment. People are in need of short-term financial fixes, and if you can offer that you can make a good investment so much more affordable by just finding the right circumstances.

All of this, then, should make it pretty easy to see just how easy it is to put together a comprehensive plan of action to really get onto the real estate ladder once and for all. It’s still tough, but the reasons above show why it’s not the Everest some make out.