Modern technologies represent a great opportunity to improve everyday life even in smaller communities. South Moravian village of Říčany u Brna just confirms this. Village with nearly two thousand inhabitants actively tested and later implemented smart technologies for more efficient management of not only waste, but also for monitoring of water areas.
Shifting the paradigm of Smart City to “Smart Village”
“I first heard about the smart waste monitoring project at a conference about smart cities. I was very interested in the idea and immediately contacted Mrs. Kulhava, Sensoneo Sales representative for the Czech Republic, in order to try it out. We wanted to check out, whether the current waste collection frequency set-up was appropriate.”
That is how began the story of active testing of new technologies in Říčany near Brno under the command of Mayor Jan Studený. In a village with an approximate population of two thousand, they started the project very wisely. Firstly, they have decided to test the technology on 10 containers to see how the whole system works and what exactly they can expect from it in reality.
The village took the waste into their own hands
Quality of life and cleanliness are some of the biggest priorities of the village management. Last year, the municipality became partially independent in terms of the collection – the waste collection company collects biowaste, municipal and plastic. Paper waste and glass are collected by the municipality on their own.
“Paper waste has a big value today and we have learned how to trade it. Containers are filled with this waste quickly and thanks to the data we found out that it is necessary to set the collection cycle for this commodity to once a week. The glass fills more slowly and irregularly and with this type of waste the sensors really pay off. Through monitoring, we plan to find out where it would be appropriate to place containers with larger capacity.”Jan, Studený, Mayor
Sensors have revealed how containers are actually used
In addition to the containers located within the village, Říčany also decided to monitor the containers located in the nearby cottage area. In this area, the collection is not set up regularly and usually requires the coordination of several municipal staff. Monitoring has shown that these containers are hardly used at all. The municipality has verified which of them are really justified and confirmed that their number can be significantly reduced.
By monitoring the containers, the municipality also gained the opportunity to “check” whether the collection company is really fulfilling its tasks under the contract: “It is a very valuable functionality,” the mayor added.
“Real-time monitoring has shown that from the moment of emptying, the containers are then filled very quickly and abruptly, which is not desirable. They seem to be used for the dumping of large amounts of waste, often by people who just pass through our community, ” said the Mayor, Jan Studený.
Jan Studený is convinced that the sensors will fully confirm their justification when they are widely used: “Then it makes full sense because you have a really perfect and comprehensive overview of waste within the whole community.” The municipality, therefore, decided to deploy another 40 sensors in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of waste production in the municipality and prevent the so-called “waste tourism”.
Accurate waste data at hand
Regarding the monitoring, they use the mobile application the most:
“It is an ideal tool for everyday work. We need nothing more than an immediate overview. The application is literally childish and we have no problems using it. We see what’s going on in the field, and we quickly plan the work with our waste guys. Of course, if I want more comprehensive information, I’ll look at the analytics in the system.”
Not only containers, but also pond and sewer
In addition to the purpose of container monitoring, the municipality decided to test the sensors also for monitoring of water areas. There is a natural bathing habitat in the village. It was originally a 60-year-old natural pool: “In connection with the habitat, we are bothered by the loss of water. It is dependent on the inflow of water, and since it is huge (6000 m2), then the evaporation of water is large. It is important for us to allow the water to flow as little as possible because the external source is polluted. We tracked over time what affects the level ” added Jan Studený.
In the near future, the village of Říčany is considering using sensors to monitor pumping stations in the sewer: “We pump all the water because we do not have a constant inflow. The pump, therefore, breaks down pretty easily. We watched how long the water level remained stable.”