LIPASAM, some figures
LIPASAM is the municipal waste collection company that serves the city of Seville. For the last 30 years, it has been responsible for cleaning 8.7 mi² and 669 miles of roads, as well as collecting urban waste and subsequently treating it to save resources and prevent environmental pollution. It serves approximately 70.000 citizens. To do that 365 days a year, LIPASAM has an average workforce of 1.555 workers. It has 461 vehicles and manages 50.000 units of street furniture, including 13.000 waste containers.
Wellness Smart Cities & Solutions leads a European project named LIFE EWAS, as part of an international consortium of companies invested in environmental consulting and waste management. The project goal is to test “Methodologies for efficient and sustainable waste management using ICT tools that enable the reduction of GHG emissions” (Greenhouse gasses). Through LIPASAM, a public sector partner in Spain, Seville became the testing ground for piloting EWAS and scaling its results. EWAS is a European Commission initiative, born of the LIFE program within LIFE + 2013 Enviroment Policy and Governance Project application.
In the Seville’s case, a total of 268 containers were monitored: 215 side loading glass containers in 3 cyclical collection routes, 29 underground plastic, and glass containers, and 24 with different waste materials to test the device’s validity.
“With the information we received from the sensors and collection platform on glass containers’ fill level, we were able to reduce the number of pick up rounds from 3 every 12 days, down to 1 every 7 days. This meant going from 100 rounds per year to 34, and optimized routes, going from 3 static routes to 1 dynamic one, 400 fewer hours a vehicle is on the street per year, which then means traffic improvement and reducing noise and odors caused by collection trucks.” José Andrés Ferrete. Head of street furniture, LIPASAM.
LIPASAM’s municipal solid waste collection plan was based on predefined routes, established by past service experience. This method resulted in unnecessary costs and underutilization of resources. Empty containers were often collected, while other containers would overflow causing an increase in cleaning costs and discontent among citizens. With this scenario in mind, LIPASAM sought a system that would optimize its waste management. The LIFE EWAS project represented a perfect opportunity to implement ICT solutions that help public companies achieve improvement milestones.
The technological solution used was Quamtra, a system developed entirely by Wellness Smart Cities & Solutions that includes a hardware device for both measuring waste container fill level and collecting data, and a software platform for data management and visualization. The hardware’s sensors measure fill level through a configurable ultrasound beam, determining the distance between the top of the waste and the device, which is placed in the internal upper region of the container. In addition to this volumetric measurement, Quamtra’s sensors incorporate other features like an accelerometer and a temperature sensor that enables data aggregates and other useful parameters for data collection. The data are transferred wirelessly to the management platform and analyzed by the municipal collection manager. The knowledge Wellness Smart Cities & Solutions gained while managing the problems posed by this and other projects, has resulted in a versatile measuring device that is compatible with multiple connectivity scenarios and most containers on the market. These devices turn containers into smart containers that generate real-time data about their status. In turn, the collection manager receives useful information about their container system, allowing them to make permanent adjustments to collection routes based on waste volume in containers, alerts generated during vandalism instances, floods or fire alerts, and the seasonality and dynamism of a city like Seville (local festivals, events, etc).
“Our Quamtra sensors turn containers into intelligent and active resources. This product is a perfect example of appropriate use of technology in favor of resource efficiency and emission reduction.“José Antonio Cabo. Quamtra Product Manager Wellness Smart Cities and Solutions
The data collected to evaluate the benefits of implementing Quamtra’s technology over time show that this project now allows LIPASAM to offer Seville an optimized service. It has reduced collection costs by 60% after phasing out fixed collection routes, for 1 dynamic route (The EWAS ROUTE). It has reduced annual collection service rounds from 100 to 34; the number of hours the trucks are on the street, thereby decongesting traffic; the miles driven; the fuel used, and the noise created.
“Thanks to the application of this technology and the data provided by the sensors, our costs associated with collection have been reduced by 66%.” Virginia Pividal García, Managing Director, LIPASAM.
• Permanent real-time data source for route optimization and planning.
• Optimization and reallocation of collection resources.
• Reduced preventive and corrective maintenance.
• Reduced operating costs.
• Better service.
• Better perception of service quality by citizens.
• Public awareness.
• GHG emission reduction
• The results show that ICT is an essential and inescapable part of optimizing the public services management.
• Real-time data allows a waste collection manager to speed-up reaction to dynamic conditions affecting routes and increase service efficiency.
• Cities should be aware of the Smart paradigm to ensure their sustainability.
• Citizens must be at the heart of these initiatives and be included in the implementation solutions, as the benefits should.
LIPASAM has decided to continue receiving Wellness Smart Cities & Solutions service after the LIFE EWAS pilot program ends. The vialibility of this decison is owed to savings created during the pilot program, and motivated by the possibility of monitoring more types of waste containers.
Thanks to this experience, LIPASAM is now exploring new service improvement paths through ICT integration in their entire value chain.