The littering of the environment in general is a big problem for the future. We can observe the pollution of our environment not only in the seas, but also in the cities. Many of our fellow citizens do not seem to be affected by this. This can be seen on the one hand in the permanently overfilled rubbish bins, on the other hand in the rubbish lying freely in nature. Also the trend to get food to go on the way contributes drastically to these observations, because not infrequently it is bulky packages that overfill the garbage cans and therefore contribute to their overloading. This is also confirmed by the employees of the responsible authorities: "Especially in summer we have to empty public rubbish bins several times a day and collect a lot of rubbish next to the rubbish bins and in nature.
Not only because of overall problems such as climate change, but also to make the city attractive, many measures have already been taken to counteract this. Educational events and posters, urban cleaning campaigns for citizens and schools, but also digital innovations such as the sensory determination of the filling level of the garbage cans should help in this respect. These ideas help to encourage residents to think more sustainable.
Nevertheless, the waste problem is improving only slowly. In smaller towns, city workers still have the opportunity to keep track of the most affected areas, know their route and, in the event of reports of particularly littered areas, can reach the area quickly and remove the pollution. This gives an overview of the waste situation in the city. The situation is different in larger cities, where the overview is much more difficult. Also the change of the garbage can be determined here only with difficulty. Where is there more rubbish today than in previous years? Which type of garbage predominates? How could one counteract this in order to improve the situation again in the following years? The 'Internet of Trash' project is intended to answer these questions.
In the future, our waste tracking tool will both improve infrastructure planning and reduce the amount of waste in nature. This is done with the help of a garbage tong equipped with a camera and machine learning software. The garbage is scanned and recognized every time it is grabbed. The result of this evaluation is then sent via wifi to a database, which makes this data available for further processing. In the IoTrash application, this data is processed as a heat map and made accessible to the user. The user can then identify heavily littered areas and treat them properly.
The documentation for the project can be found here: Documentation - Internet of Trash