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Oman’s be’ah mulls smart bins to optimise waste collection

Dr Mohab Ali al Hinai
Dr Mohab Ali al Hinai

State-owned Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be’ah) — part of Oman Investment Authority (OIA) — is looking to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), among other smart technology solutions, to optimise the waste collection operations of its service providers. The goal, according to a key official, is to reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint and support its sustainability objectives.

Dr Mohab Ali al Hinai (pictured), Vice President - Sustainability and Circular Economy at be’ah, said the company exploring options to enhance the energy efficiency of its 1,200-strong fleet of waste collection trucks with a view to reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This is sought to be achieved by reducing the number of waste collection trips through the deployment of route optimization techniques, he said.

“be’ah is exploring the use of AI and IoT to optimise the timing of waste collection. Smart bins equipped with sensors can notify the waste management company when they need to be emptied, which can reduce the frequency of collection and save fuel,” said Dr Al Hinai.

“Additionally, AI-based computer vision can notify of bin hygiene violations when cameras are installed on collection trucks,” he added in an interview to ‘Energy Connects’, a Dubai-based news platform.

Further, in line with its circular economy objectives, be’ah is working in partnership with businesses and industries to reduce waste generation and increase recycling and reuse practice, said Dr Al Hinai. Notable is a planned Waste to Energy (WTE) project which will use municipal waste as feedstock for incineration and electricity generation.

“be’ah is making significant strides in promoting sustainability and resource management through its waste-to-energy project, which is estimated to divert almost 4,500 tons of municipal solid waste away from landfills and generate approximately 130 -160 MW of electricity. This will not only reduce the amount of waste going to landfills but also provide a sustainable source of energy for Oman,” said Dr Al Hinai, adding that the project is due to come online by 2028.

In addition, be’ah is working on a tyre-derived fuel project for the cement industry. It is also looking at the potential for a biogas plant, which will convert organic waste into biogas, the official added.

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