Waste collection typically accounts for 10 to 25 percent of municipal spending. To avoid overfilling of bins, which occurs 15 percent of the time, cities often increase frequency of collection, but this results in over-servicing. Instrumenting waste bins with sensors to indicate when a pick up is needed can reduce the overall number of trips and vehicles needed. Companies like AMP Robotics are developing AI-powered sorting systems for waste streams that reduce the cost and improve recovery rates.
This points towards a future where cities can significantly cut down on the cost and energy intensity of waster disposal, while radically improving recovery rates.