Optimization of Municipal Waste Collection Routing: Impact of Industry 4.0 Technologies on Environmental Awareness and Sustainability

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Feb 21;16(4):634. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16040634.


The accelerated movement of people towards cities led to the fact that the world's urban population is now growing by 60-million persons per year. The increased number of cities' population has a significant impact on the produced volume of household waste, which must be collected and recycled in time. The collection of household waste, especially in downtown areas, has a wide range of challenges; the collection system must be reliable, flexible, cost efficient, and green. Within the frame of this paper, the authors describe the application possibilities of Industry 4.0 technologies in waste collection solutions and the optimization potential in their processes. After a systematic literature review, this paper introduces the waste collection process of downtowns as a cyber-physical system. A mathematical model of this waste collection process is described, which incorporates routing, assignment, and scheduling problems. The objectives of the model are the followings: (1) optimal assignment of waste sources to garbage trucks; (2) scheduling of the waste collection through routing of each garbage truck to minimize the total operation cost, increase reliability while comprehensive environmental indicators that have great impact on public health are to be taken into consideration. Next, a binary bat algorithm is described, whose performance is validated with different benchmark functions. The scenario analysis validates the model and then evaluates its performance to increase the cost-efficiency and warrant environmental awareness of waste collection process.

Keywords: Industry 4.0; Internet of Things; collection; cyber-physical system; emission reduction; environmental awareness; heuristic optimization; logistics process; waste collection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cities
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Garbage
  • Industry
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Program Evaluation
  • Recycling* / economics
  • Refuse Disposal* / economics
  • Remote Sensing Technology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Technology