University of Twente Student Theses


From Trash To Digital Treasure: Urban Digital Twining For Solid Waste Management. A Case Study In The City Of Tshwane, South Africa.

Cárdenas León, I.L. (2023) From Trash To Digital Treasure: Urban Digital Twining For Solid Waste Management. A Case Study In The City Of Tshwane, South Africa.

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Abstract:Urban sustainability faces a critical challenge in managing solid waste. With over 2 billion metric tons generated annually, global waste production has severe health and environmental consequences. Though not a primary SDG, effective waste management is vital for meeting targets 11.6, 12.4, and 12.5 and is intertwined with 12 out of 17 SDGs. South Africa, in particular, grapples with significant waste generation and inadequate collection services. A dynamic model is proposed to tackle these issues, integrating real-time monitoring, optimized collection routes, and citizen participation. This study introduces a prototype for a Waste Management Digital Twin, involving stakeholder prioritization, citizen engagement via an open-source tool (Epicollect5) for locating waste containers and littering sites, waste generation simulations, optimized collection routes, and a control dashboard. A three-day data collection effort identified 1,270 containers and 820 littering sites, revealing container distribution gaps. Litter in park areas emphasizes the importance of providing well-distributed containers and prompt maintenance. Photos aid issue identification, while citizen engagement improves accuracy and efficiency. Waste generation simulations inform waste flows, low-capacity areas, and optimal container locations. Optimized collection routes are proposed to reduce fuel use and emissions. A control dashboard was developed where stakeholders' system requirements were included, and eleven indicators were displayed along three maps. Stakeholders rated the dashboard high, but some did not perceive the overall objective of digital twinning solid waste. Performance of the Digital Twin depends on computer capacity and local or online processing. The prototype sets the foundation for digital twinning in waste management, scalable to different areas, vehicles, and production levels. Digital twinning, citizen involvement, and multi-stakeholder engagement enhance waste management, particularly benefiting resource-limited countries.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Subject:74 (human) geography, cartography, town and country planning, demography
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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