The main objective of the Environment Theme, according to FP7 Specific Programme, addressed by BURBA is to promote sustainable management of the natural and human environment and its resources by advancing our knowledge on the interactions between the biosphere, ecosystem and human activities, and develping new technologies, tools and services, in order to address in an integrated way global environmental issues. Waste management is an urgent problem in urban environments. Therefore, a more efficient and sustainable waste management system promoteshigher life quality and fewer costs for the city authorities and less impact on the environment.
BURBA project proposes an innovative method of optimization of the waste management through the application of RFID and LBS technologies integrated into an intelligent waste container (IWAC) of 600/1200 liters of capacity for its use in densely populated areas. RFID is exploited at multiple levels in the BURBA project.It must be pointed out that price of passive RFID will be soon reduced so much that single item identification will be possible at the level of supermarket items. The adoption of this technology will facilitate many steps in the distribution and sales chain. Here the present consortium closes the loop introducing the last step in the cycle: waste management. The IWAC (Intelligent Waste Container) will be able to identify the citizen/user through a personal RFID card, to control (e.g. lock/unlock) the lid and, therefore, to give feedback about the correct disposal by the user. The IWAC will be able to identify items marked with RFID tags and will be marked itself with an RFID for redundant identification in case of failure of electronics. Taking advantage of RFID's ability to reliably identify individual/groups of users/citizens and the kind of waste being disposed, as well as if it is correctly separated, municiplaities can create incentive- based recycling programs that accurately reward customers for the amount they recycle and/or charge proportionally to the amount of the generated waste, while minimizing the amount of trash headed for the landfill. In a recent future, in which single items will be RFID tagged, all data gathered by the system will allow improved market studies and the provision of information about path and life of products, under the property privacy warrantee terms. The system will be designed and built in a modular way so that a commercial version with reduced RFID capability could be produced and adapted for immediate use with non RFID tagged single commercial items. By automating the collection of all waste, the IWACs GNNS/RFID enabled system can assure that individual containers have been collected, providing verification of service. This information in addition with positioning capabilities ensured by GNNS inside the IWAC may be used to optimize truck usage and routes, redirecting and rescheduling the recollection activities for example in case of main events as World Expos or undesirable natural events. With a fully automatic data collection system based on RFID and supported by LBS, versus manual methods, waste management systems can be more efficient and environmental friendly.