Reference: Monitoring Textile Bins

3 000 tons Waste collected per year
370 Smart Bins
Textile Commodity

Partner Description

EKOCHARITA was founded in 2017 and focuses on the collection, donation, pre-sorting and wholesaling of used clothing, footwear, bed sheets, linen as well as feather-beds, either for further reuse or recycling. Today, Ekocharita is the fastest-growing bin operator in the region. Overall, EKOCHARITA collects textile waste from the network of 1200 bins located mainly in the western part of Slovakia. Annually, they collect approximately 3 000 000 kilograms of clothes and textiles, that would have otherwise ended in a landfill or in the incinerator.

Project Description

Servicing such infrastructure can be rather challenging. Everyday management combines fleet and driver schedules with daily demands for the collection of textile bins from customer and citizens. Textile bins do not get full on regular basis. To collect only full bins & eliminated unnecessary pickups, Ekocharita wants remotely monitoring fullness by Sensoneo sensors.

Expectations

01 Reliable data on bin fullness
02 Cost savings on collection
03 Sufficient time to plan collection
04 Better allocation of resources

By the end of 2021, we hope to have Sensoneo sensors in all our bins. Even with sensors in just 300+ bins, we see significant cost savings on waste collection. Thanks to predictions, we draw collection schedule ahead of time. We collect only full bins. We eliminated all unnecessary pickups. We even manage to meet the vehicle capacity when planning routes.

Juraj Kunak CEO Ekocharita

Implementation

Sensors

Ekocharita uses large metal bins. Each bin is equipped with a Sensoneo ultrasonic fill-level sensor. The sensor measures 24x a day how full is the bin. The sensor sends the data in real-time to the Sensoneo Platform.  Besides fullness, the sensor has a fire & tilt alarm and sends a notification to Operator. 

Ekocharita bins are distributed in many towns & villages in Slovakia. Sensoneo sensors support more than one network what makes such large-scale deployment so much easier. You do not have to worry about data transfer. Sensors support Sigfox, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT and CAT-M1.

By the end of 2021, Ekocharita wants to monitor all 1 200 textile bins with Sensoneo sensors.

Collection Planning

Once the data are available in the Sensoneo Platform, the operator can proactively plan collection routes. Based on actual data, the platform can predict fullness for tomorrow, next week or next month. The Operator can fill the car up to 100 %. He knows how full are the bins (waste volume in the bin), therefore each route is optimized to fill the vehicle up to save costs. 

 

Results

Ekocharita already digitized their bins in Sensoneo Platform in 2020. This allows them to better visualize bin location, navigate drivers & customers to their bins. 

Remote bin monitoring provides valuable data on bin fullness. This data alone does not save collection costs. Adjusting the process and including the data into the collection planning, resource allocations and calculation of routes proved to bring significant cost savings from the very beginning of the project. 

The ultimate goal is to minimize operational costs per kilogram of collected waste as well as the environmental footprint. The prices on the textile waste market are not high, therefore Ekocharita and all other textile collectors have to work hard to maintain efficient operations. Otherwise, the textile will end up in mixed waste and then in incinerators or dumps.