Smart waste management using artificial intelligence

Smart waste management using artificial intelligence

According to a World Bank report, the world's cities generate about 1.3 billion tons of solid waste annually, and these quantities are expected to rise to 2.2 billion tons by 2025

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to systems or devices that simulate human intelligence to perform tasks based on the information they gather.

According to researchers and specialists, "artificial intelligence has the ability to accelerate global efforts to protect the environment and conserve resources by monitoring air pollution and energy emissions, assisting in the development of transportation networks, monitoring deforestation, and forecasting extreme weather conditions."

According to a World Bank report, the world's cities generate about 1.3 billion tons of solid waste annually, and these quantities are expected to rise to 2.2 billion tons by 2025. During this period, the number of city residents in the world will jump from about three billion currently, each of them produces what An average of 1.2 kg of waste per day amounts to about 4.3 billion, with a daily waste production rate of 1.42 kg per person.

The waste management industry includes various activities, such as collection, transportation, disposal, recycling and landfill, and because the operational costs are large and the environmental consequences are many, so the adoption of smart management is a radical solution through the use of the Internet of things sensors and cameras in smart solutions that include smart monitoring, path improvement and analytics Data, as its use led to saving 30% of waste collection costs, in addition to reducing fleet fuel consumption, thus reducing carbon emissions and reducing traffic congestion.

Almost all waste is collected in upper-middle-income and high-income countries, and more than a third of waste in high-income countries is recovered through recycling and composting. Low-income countries collect about 48 percent of waste in cities, but only 26 percent in rural areas, and only 4 percent is recycled. In all, 13.5% of the world's waste is recycled and 5.5% is composted.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution gives the impression that the concept of a circular economy is more real than ever, and not just a fantasy. Disposing of waste through purification and improved recycling could lead to a complete transformation of industries in a decade or even years.

With about 1.3 billion tons of waste produced by humans in the world every day, it must be noted that it is difficult to predict the scale of the challenges we currently face in achieving a globally recyclable level. Also, successfully sorting different types of waste is one of the most difficult problems that municipal recycling facilities face, and this is where “AI” ideally comes into play to make a big difference in a short period of time. This leads to a circular economy.


The World Bank Report, What a Waste: An Updated Look at the Future of Solid Waste Management


Samira Dhayyat

Eng. Samira Dhayyat 

Executive Director | Arab Forum for Smart Cities
Executive Director of Arab Forum for smart cities with a long history of working in the government administration industry and municipal affairs. Skilled in leadership, strategic planning, project management, project planning, Risk management, and change management. Experienced speaker, panelist and moderator in Smart Cities, Digital Transformation and Sustainable development- With a Master's degree focused in business administration(e-business) and a bachelor's degree in civil Engineering

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