Level monitoring

Level Sensing for Smart Waste Management

dust bin level sensor

The growing demand for smart waste management

The concept of ‘smart’ solutions is developing across the globe as cities look for more effective ways to manage everything from traffic to amenities and municipal services. Smart systems and solutions create safer, more efficient and more sustainable urban environments. Municipal departments and companies providing waste services are also looking for new and innovative methods for waste management and removal in order to reduce service costs and provide cleaner cities for their inhabitants.
silo level measurement

Problems posed by current systems of waste management

Today, there are a number of challenges connected with existing systems of waste management that could benefit from the use of smart waste concepts.


FREQUENCY OF COLLECTIONS - Waste collection is often not frequent enough or is out of sync with localised waste production, with bins left overflowing and garbage bags piled up on roadsides between collection times.


COLLECTION ROUTES - Garbage collection routes often service underused bins and can involve a number of unnecessary pickups, with inefficient use of labour and vehicles. Overuse of vehicles and ineffective planning of routes results in additional traffic, unnecessary fuel costs and increased CO2 emissions.

LACK OF DATA - With little or no data available, it is impossible to make data-driven decisions for waste operations. No historical data is available to model seasonal fluctuations of waste fill levels in order to develop more efficient pick-up planning. Data collection from waste bins would enable accurate planning for waste containers, removing those from underused areas and adding additional containers in zones of high use.

MAINTENANCE OF CONTAINERS - Accurate data and use of sensors could also provide alerts for damage to containers, theft, trapped wildlife etc.

Advantages of ToF sensors for smart waste management

To date, ultrasound technology has been used in smart waste management systems due to its low cost nature and users willingness to accept its performance limitations.

Recent developments in optical ToF technology are now providing far higher performance at an even lower cost. This is a very interesting topic particularly to smart waste management companies looking to innovate their offerings and increase performance.

The advantages of ToF technology include:

• Contactless measurements - sensors stay clean, minimize performance issues, drive down maintenance costs
• A compact format for easy integration in waste bins with limited space
• Low power consumption - compatible with battery-powered developments
• Low-cost multi-sensor solutions for waste level monitoring
• Higher-performance alternative to ultrasound
• Accurate and reliable level data - no signal acoustics inside bins
• Narrow Field of View for smaller waste containers
• Proximity monitoring - reduced blind zones vs ultrasound systems
bin level sensor system
bin level sensor system

Waste monitoring applications for ToF sensors

ToF sensors can help provide efficient waste management in a variety of situations, from semi-underground waste containers as used in most urban locations to large mobile containers often found in retail outlet car parks, to commercial containers used by individual businesses and small waste containers installed in public spaces (car parks, venues, office complexes). Systems can be developed and set up for monitoring and data collection of most waste materials: general waste, recyclable materials (glass, paper & cardboard, plastic, tins), clothing.

Terabee ToF sensors modules for OEM integrations

An increasing number of organizations are deploying IoT platforms and measurement devices for smart waste management. As a result, there is growing demand for the sensor components of these IoT systems, to monitor variables including temperature, humidity, movement - and most critical of all - the level sensor or distance sensor! Terabee offers a portfolio of high-performance, compact and low-cost sensor modules, suited to OEM integrations for monitoring different applications of waste.

• TeraRanger Evo Mini - ToF distance sensor for wider waste bins up to 3.3m tall, offering a larger (27 degree) coverage area and basic multi-pixel capabilities.

• TeraRanger Evo 3m - ToF distance sensor with a narrow 2 degree Field-of-View for narrower waste bins (up to 3m)

• TeraRanger Multiflex - our low-cost multi-point sensing kit for monitoring wider waste bins (up to 2m height) with accurate level estimation even for uneven surface distribution.
dust bin level sensor
raspberry pi distance sensor

PoC and pilot projects for prompt validation of ToF technology

Benefit from Terabee’s extensive knowledge and experience of sensor electronics, mechanical engineering and software development to build custom sensing solutions and swiftly address your application needs. Work with Terabee and adapt sensor parameters to suit your application, including:

• communication (e.g LoRa),
• power (e.g. integrated battery),
• housing (IP6X rated enclosure),
• design (easy installation),
• data output (e.g application layers).

Partners looking for innovation in IoT sensing and digital waste management, Terabee engages in PoC projects and pilot programs to access the full benefits of Time-of-Flight technology.

We welcome collaboration with:

• Cities & Municipalities
• Waste management logistics companies
• IoT solution providers
• System integrators
distance measurement sensor

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