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Innovations in Solid Waste

by | Oct 6, 2014 | Government Entities

183712392Resized_200_133Since the volume of municipal solid waste is expected to almost double in the next decade, according to a 2012 World Bank report, engineers and officials are looking increasingly toward smarter management.

Navigant Research recently released a report showing the market for smart municipal solid waste technology will reach $6.5 billion in 2023.

“The adoption of innovative technologies will result in more integrated waste management offerings that move beyond the traditional use of labor, diesel trucks and conventional landfills,” says Mackinnon Lawrence, research director with Navigant. “This dynamic evolution in an otherwise stable industry offers a wealth of opportunities for both existing waste hauler stakeholders and new waste-management industry market entrants.”

Here are four smart municipal solid waste management innovations:

1. E-waste Mining: In June, California-based startup BlueOak Resources broke ground on a new venture in Osceola, Ark., designed to recover valuable minerals from e-waste.

2. Solar landfills: For a growing number of communities, solar farms are an ideal option for generating revenue from open space that may not necessarily be suitable for other uses.

3. Waste-to-biofuels: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Mayor Don Iveson recently told the Los Angeles Times that they are partnering with a private company that has built Canada’s first waste-to-biofuels facility on the site, which will take materials that cannot be recycled or composted and turn them into methanol and ethanol.

4. Greener Garbage Trucks: Chicago has North America’s first all-electric trash truck. Although initially more expensive, the truck, designed by Motiv Power Systems, is “one-eighth the cost of a gas truck per mile when factoring in electricity and gas prices,” DNAinfo Chicago reports.

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