Summer is here: Time for a smarter approach to waste management during seasonal peaks and events

Visitors drive economic success but there’s a waste management cost

The pent-up demand for travel is a phenomenon that has been observed in many countries since the Covid pandemic began. People who were unable to travel during the pandemic are now eager to make up for lost time, and this has led to a surge in travel bookings.

There are examples from around the world of how internationally renowned beauty spots, places of interest, or attractions have been quite literally ‘trashed’, in no small part by mass tourism. The paradise island of Bali, the Eternal City of Rome, and for some, the obsession that is Mount Everest, are just a few examples.

And it’s not just the waste generated by mass tourism. Certain places, typically those beside water, are susceptible to the accumulation of waste that has been dumped into waterways and the sea that has washed up.

Trips to the UK by overseas visitors have yet to recover to pre-Covid pandemic levels. However, with the surging cost of living, in the UK we are seeing further interest in ‘staycations’, with more UK residents opting to holiday in the UK to avoid the hassle, expense and delays that are often associated with international travel.

Now the UK summer season is getting into full swing. With the potential for increased footfall at popular UK resorts, events and visitor attractions, the question of mounting an effective waste management response is very important if we are to keep our popular destinations clean and attractive, while improving performance and achieving our waste management targets.

Two good ways of tackling waste management during peak seasons are adopting a proactive approach to public litter bin waste management; and optimising response to clean-ups after specific events, such as the 1000+ UK music festivals each year, or general peaks in the season, such as bank holidays.

Optimising public litter bin waste management

One of the key implementations of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the practice of monitoring physical objects by using embedded sensors, software, and network connectivity to allow the collection and exchange of data. IoT devices can be used to make inert objects electronically active and able to communicate their state.

One area where IoT is making a deep, lasting impact and increasing the efficiency of waste management services is by using smart devices with Whitespace software. Council waste management teams can monitor the fill level of public litter bins and report when they need emptying.

This data is then used to schedule collection activity by council waste management vehicles, which optimises waste logistics, crew utilisation and the collection of waste for sorting, providing the material for recycling and materials recovery processing.

In addition to monitoring fill levels, IoT devices are also used to collect data on waste composition and location. This data can be used to optimise scheduling collections in heavy footfall areas and improve recycling rates. Ultimately, this reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills. Derby City Council reduced unnecessary trips to empty bins by 53%.

The use of IoT in waste management is a key technology in the development of ‘smart’ communities and, by extension, a step towards ‘smart’ cities.

Cleaning up after seasonal peaks and scheduled events

Whitespace waste management technology is used to provide real-time information to operatives. This information is used to dynamically direct crews through an in-cab mobile app to the areas where there is a need to clean up after seasonal peaks in leisure activities or large-scale events.

This provides a faster, more cost-effective waste management response. There is less time for waste to accumulate, for it to be dispersed into the environment from overflowing bins by the elements, and removes the food waste that encourages vermin.

Whitespace waste management technology provides these key advantages:

  • Improved efficiency – real-time information allows crews to be immediately directed to the sites of celebrations where there is a need to clean up after seasonal peaks or public events.
  • Increased sustainability – by reducing inefficiency in the collection process Whitespace waste management technology helps to reduce the environmental impact of seasonal peaks and events.
  • Improved communication – real-time communication between field teams and management help to ensure that jobs are completed quickly and efficiently.

Adopt a smarter approach to waste management Whitespace

Whitespace is the UK’s partner of choice for technology solutions that address the logistical problems of waste management. To find out more about Whitespace Municipal Waste Management solutions, please get in touch by calling us on +44 (0)1483 231 650 or emailing us at

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