Proof of Concept for Smart Sensors to Reduce Solid Waste

Department of Defense Engineer Research and Development Center
Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

W81EWF-22-SOI-0014

Background: Solid waste generated in the U. S. has nearly tripled since 1960, according to EPA data. Although recycling and composting are increasingly employed to keep waste from landfill, the U.S. still sends more to landfill each year and landfill space is limited. Source reduction is the most preferred method of waste management in the EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy. Source reduction is also the most preferred method of waste management for the military (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense. Memorandum. β€œRevision to the Department of Defense Integrated Solid Waste Management Metrics.” United States Army Regulations, March 16, 2020.), but there is no standard method to measure source reduction (DoDI 4715.23). Currently, Installations must report diversion, a measure of waste that is not landfilled or incinerated divided by all waste generated On-Post. In other words, diversion is the percentage of actual waste generated that is reused, donated, recycled, composted, or sent to a waste-to-energy facility. Source reduction is a measure of the amount of reduced waste generation. Diversion is a metric that does not include any source reduction. Smart sensors would allow for consistent data collection of current trends in solid waste generation and disposal. The sensors would show changes over time. Initial data could be used as baseline data to measure changes over time, quantifying future source reduction.Furthermore, visual feedback could be used to nudge the Post population to waste less. Brief Description of Anticipated Work: The government seeks research and technical support for smart sensor design and fabrication of smart sensors to track real-time weights in interior waste containers at two (2) military Installations. Support is also sought for statistical analyses of data results. Study design and study sites will be decided based upon input from selected Installations, ERDC-CERL, Sponsoring Agency, and CESU partners. Details of primary tasks for Year 1 are as follows: Primary Task 1: Smart Sensor Design and Fabrication Sensors shall be able to collect real-time data on solid waste weight generation in interior waste containers and send that data to a sequestered data repository accessible to CERL researchers. Due to variability in container dimensions, sensors need a flexible design that can be tailored to each container. Sensors shall be fabricated by the awardee. Primary Task 2: Sensor Installation Sensors shall be placed in all interior waste containers at two (2) military Installations. At each Installation, sensors will be installed in interior waste containers at up to two (2) dining facilities, the common areas of up to two (2) office buildings, and the common areas of up to two (2) barracks buildings. Installation of sensors shall take place in summer 2022 at the selected Installations. Primary Task 3: Data Collection Data collection shall take place over a period of up to three (3) months, with ten (10) to twelve (12) weeks anticipated. Primary Task 4: Statistical Analyses Using standard statistical methods, data shall be analyzed. Potential Continuation Phase (Year 2) Continuation Task 1: Add Feedback Visualization to existing Smart Sensors Feedback visualization will show waste generation in a legible way and encourage proper segregation of materials (e.g. refuse, recycling, compost). Continuation Task 2: Data Collection Data collection shall take place over a period of one (1) to three (3) months. Continuation Task 3: Statistical Analyses Data and analyses from the primary tasks shall be used as a baseline to compare against when analyzing
Categories: Science and Technology and other Research and Development.

More Information

Posted on:

Application Deadline:

Expired

Type

Fellowships

Reference Number

W81EWF-22-SOI-0014

United States