A Digital India Initiative

Surat: Smart Solid Waste Management System

December 31, 2020

Smart Solid Waste Management System


Surat is a city located on the western part of India in the state of Gujarat. It is the eighth largest city in terms of population in India and the fastest growing city (as per Oxford Economics report). The city has witnessed decadal growth of over 60% since last 5 decades with city population increasing from 2.8 million (census 2001) to 4.5 million (census 2011). The current population is estimated to be 6 million.

The upsurge in population and increasing urbanisation poses challenges to keep city clean. Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) with an aim to create world class civic infrastructure has been forerunner when it comes to Solid Waste Management.

Solid Waste Management comprising of solid waste collection, transportation and disposal is a very critical activity for any ULB. SMC has taken various initiatives in the field of Solid Waste Management to make the city clean. The efforts of SMC has been acknowledged at various level.

With a view to utilize the latest technology and IT system to further strengthen the Solid Waste Management practices, SMC has undertaken a project on implementation of the Smart Solid Waste Management System.

Objectives of Smart Solid Waste Management System

The goal of this project is to implement an Integrated and centralized Solid Waste Management monitoring and tracking solution. The solution is monitored centrally from Smart City Center (Command & Control Center) of SMC. Below are primary objectives of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) monitoring & tracking solution:

  1. To monitor the fleet involved in the Solid Waste Management activities in real-time, to improve per vehicle productivity, to reduce non-compliance and to optimize fleet utilization
  2. To have the real-time information with regards to waste collection activity
  3. To geocode and geo-fence stoppages/Point of Interest (POI) and routes
  4. Route planning and allocation
  5. Automate the transfer stations and disposal site for daily garbage inward and outward activities
  6. To utilise the technology to minimize human intervention and to improve the collection efficiency
  7. To full proof the system and prevent misuse of manual system and to induct transparency and accountability in operations
  8. To ensure complete coverage of waste collection across Surat city
  9. To have the system that helps monitor the performance and SLA for services
  10. To provide management with dashboard and detailed analysis reports for decision making

Solution Components

SMC implemented the Smart Solid Waste Management System under Smart City Mission that helps overcome the challenges mentioned above. The Smart Solid Waste Management Solution broadly comprises of the following:

  • Vehicle Tracking System on the Primary Collection and Secondary Transport vehicles
  • RFID tags on waste collection vehicles
  • RFID readers at transfer stations and disposal site
  • Integration with cameras to capture image of vehicle (along with number plate) entering and exiting transfer station and disposal site
  • Integration with weighing scale to capture weight data of loaded and empty vehicles
  • Biometric system to authenticate user entering/capturing details of vehicle in and out at transfer stations and disposal site
  • Centralized web based system for monitoring of the complete Solid Waste Collection & Disposal activities integrated with RFID readers, cameras, biometric and GPS devices.

Characteristic of the Smart SWM Solution

Integration of various IT components in Solid Waste Management makes the solution smarter by reducing manual interventions and by providing a way to cross verify the field level compliance of the vehicles. Some of the components covered under this project as under:

  1. RFID Readers: The RFID readers are installed at transfer stations and disposal site. These readers fetch vehicle details automatically from RFID tags placed on each vehicle in such a way that supervisor does not have to enter vehicle details manually.
  2. Cameras: The cameras is placed at each transfer station and disposal site to monitor entry and exit of vehicles. The cameras are used to capture image of vehicle (with number plate visible) directly in the system at the time of saving record.
  3. Biometric devices: This device is used to scan finger print of the supervisor stationed at Transfer Station and disposal site to authenticate user and ensure his/her availability.
  4. Weigh Bridge System: This device is used to calculate weigh of the waste collected by vehicle entering and existing Transfer Station and disposal site
  5. Hardware Integration: The hardware specified above is integrated with the software application. The application is completely integrated application and users are not required to access separate application to perform required task for specific hardware.
  6. Portal & Mobile App: For better monitoring and management of the system, a web based portal and a mobile app has been developed for SMC. The portal is useful for centralized monitoring through command and control center, while the mobile app is useful for field level monitoring and management. The mobile app also provides an option to replace a vehicle in-case the vehicle breaks down during operation.

Results Achieved

With the help of Smart Solid Waste Management System, number of complaints from citizens have been reduced by more than 80%. System also enables prompt action for garbage collection locations that have been missed. Real-time monitoring leads to efficient route management and updating of routes as and when required. The availability of entire operations and its monitoring at the level of ward, zone and Command & Control Center has helped to drastically reduce the number of missed PoIs which gets reflected in the reduced number of complaints.

Smart SWM system enables accurate and automated weighing at transfer stations. Automated system has minimized human errors and chances of malpractices. Door-to-door contractors, zonal and ward level sanitary inspectors are also able to monitor all vehicles over mobile app to manage the door-to-door system more efficiently.

The smart city project of Smart Solid Waste Management has helped SMC to effectively utilise its resources. It has also helped the stakeholders i.e. SMC officers, employees and contractors to track various activities and monitor the abnormalities if any and take corrective actions. The manual interventions have been removed ensuring transparent system. The system is standardised across the vendors and operations. The citizens at large have benefited with improved service delivery and adherence.