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How Technology Advances Waste Management

By Michael Rosario, Construction Tech Review | Thursday, January 07, 2021

Technology is innovating waste management in all possible ways.

FREMONT, CA: One of the significant innovations coming to the waste management industry is the potential to turn waste into actual power. Instead of sitting in a landfill, several types of waste can be converted into power. New machinery known as digesters can take the waste and biogas it creates and turns it into energy to be used on site. This kind of technology can be leveraged on various waste, including food, agricultural leftovers, animal waste, and more.

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Thermal conversion is a new technology that can be harnessed to convert waste into products. This process takes some cues from geothermal processes that utilize heat and pressure to turn useless materials into useful pr

oducts. It could be leveraged to turn waste into chemicals, oils, fertilizers, and other things that could waste another life. Some landfill gas can be converted into energy. This kind of gas would usually be released or flared, but now it can be turned into energy with some new technology. Bioreactors, microturbine technology, and fuel cells can now help to do something useful with waste.

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Several products and industries need the use of precious metals. Because the minerals are so useful, they can be expensive. Like platinum, palladium, and iridium, these materials can be harnessed as catalysts in a variety of industries, such as the automotive and chemical sectors. New methodologies like plasma arc recycling can assist society in meeting the demands for these materials. This tech can recover most of the platinum metal found in a vehicle or other object by using a super-hot plasma torch. Instead of mining for new ore, this can help reuse these materials and give them a second life. Along with this, new sensors can enable waste management companies to know that bins are full and need to be serviced. New types of screening technology sort through recyclables quickly and efficiently, which takes the work out of consumers' hands and encourages increased recycling.

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