Wae is a domestic waste management system. Via the introduction of sensors and a smart meter, operators and users can easily monitor their waste. The overall aim of this project is to reduce waste and increase recycling. Research clearly shows the key factor impacting all domestic waste is a lack of knowledge and accountability. Wae addresses this through providing easily accessible data. The system monitors domestic waste for its mass and volume. The smart meter then interprets this data into a format that can easily inform households on key facts including the percentage of each type of waste. The smart meter produces a set of analytics to inform and educate users as a means to change behaviours over time.
Problems and key challenges
The current household waste management challenges are shared matters between the households, local authorities and governmental departments. Recycling rates from waste in households in 2016 was 45.2%. Since 2013 rates have flat-lined with a gradual increase of 1.1%. With the EU targets set at 50% by 2020, drastic changes in infrastructure and collection services are currently being investigated.
Interview with chef executive of the Merseyside Recycling Waste Authority.
EU and financial legislation
The EU waste legislation requires the UK to abide to targets set for 2020. This will be reviewed and updated every 5 years, with new targets and requirements. The majority of EU waste management law has been transposed into domestic law in the UK by way of statutory instrument, meaning Brexit will not affect the UK waste management involvement with the EU.
The key waste management EU Directives are the Waste Framework Directive covering regulation, handling and movement of waste and the Landfill Directive. The landfill directive (1999/31/EC) was a driver for domestic taxation of waste taken to landfill. This policy increases in tax sent to landfill each year and aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. Currently costs £88 per tonne at landfill, with £150 fines when abusing landfill sites.
Division of responsibility for waste collection, treatment and disposal between local authorities and governmental departments
Lack of participation and behavioural attitudes of householders, as well as the practical issues of sorting waste
Separating waste for recycling is a step which some householders are not prepared to undertake.
Food waste container
240L waste container
Household user app
Prototype and Testing