The most common IoT application in waste management operations currently is the automated route optimization of garbage pickup trucks. These trucks generally follow a specific route every day to collect trash. For those sanitation departments that have yet to harness IoT connectivity, the drivers generally don’t know how full a trash bin is before they encounter it. That results in a lot of wasted time, fuel, and therefore money.IoT applications in waste management are improving this scenario by giving sanitation workers insight into the actual fill level of various disposal units, whose loads can vary by the day, the week, and the season.

Sensor-enabled and internet-connected garbage bins can collect information on fill level, temperature, location, or whatever data types the sensors gather and the sanitation department finds useful. With a user interface revealing the locations and fill levels of all bins, waste collectors can get an automated route planned for them that has prioritized areas in urgent need of cleanup and avoided disposal units that still have room.