A modern city ensures the cleanliness of its public spaces by, among other things, optimising waste management based on real-time data. Prague is to be helped by a new pilot project using RFID chips placed on top-dump sorted waste bins. Prague is cooperating with the city's ICT operator and collection companies on this project.
The project RFID chips in waste bins will help Prague to be able to monitor the collection of waste bins better and therefore provide a better service for its residents.
As part of an ongoing pilot project, RFID chips have already been installed in 414 paper and plastic waste bins with top dumping in the Prague 2, Prague 7 and Prague 8 municipalities. In addition, RFID readers have been installed on 6 collection vehicles to collect data on actual collections. "The technology does everything by itself, there is no need for the intervention of a collection crew. In practice, it works in such a way that when the container is emptied, the RFID chip placed on the container is automatically read without contact by the RFID reader installed on the collection vehicle," explains Petr Suška, Director of Smart City, Innovation and Project Management at Operátor ICT. The company also operates the city's data platform Golemio. "During the first quarter of this year, we also integrated the data on actual collections into the Golemio data platform, which is the only one in Prague that allows us to evaluate and interpret city data as a whole," adds Petr Suška.
The main objective of the pilot phase is to select and decide which of the two tested technologies is more reliable and suitable. RFID tagging of waste bins also makes it possible to uniquely identify the waste bin, its owner and to automatically record the dumping without contact. It is a relatively simple technology based on radio frequency identification, RFID being an abbreviation for Radio Frequency Identification.
"Prague and the collection companies will have an online overview of whether the collection of sorted waste corresponds to its agreed frequency. Once everything is up and running, the project should also help simplify invoicing, both for the Department of Environmental Protection and the collection companies," explains Jana Komrsková, Deputy Minister for the Environment.
As part of the pilot, a total of 1,000 RFID chips were planned to be installed to detect collections of top-dump separation bins. For the future routine operation phase, it is planned to deploy up to 10,000 RFID chips.
The pilot project builds on the Smart Waste Collection, which has been in routine operation since 2020. This is primarily aimed at checking the status and actual fullness of separate waste collection bins using IoT sensors, which are mainly placed in underground and bottom-dump waste bins. During the years 2021-2022, the project has been expanded to currently about 1,200 sensors. In the future, it is planned to extend the sensor solutions to all bottom-dump separation bins in the territory of the Capital City of Prague, i.e. to approx. 7,000 collection containers.