Turning garbage into growth the future city way

Sam Carpenter, Chief Technology Advisor for SAP Africa offers insight on how technology from SAP will enable waste management to be more effective.

Growing urban populations are placing heavy demands on modern waste disposal. This is driven by growing demand for responsible waste-handling and new environmental regulations. Even though such regulations are sound and broadly supported by nations, including South Africa, implementation is very hard when it needs to be pinned on a running target: explosive population growth.

South Africa also has its suite of unique challenges. More than a century of mining activities have created toxic pollution problems that demand urgent action. Yet that is dependent on overall waste management: if the small problems remain a challenge, the big problems are not going to be toppled. Clean streets and clear water are the most obvious measuring sticks for that quality.

There are lessons to be learnt by South Africa from other African countries who have taken a stand against waste. A prime example of effective waste management is Gabon which is growing its appeal as a tourism destination by tackling the waste problems of its capital Libreville. The city’s residents have seen the benefits of a cleaner environment which has resulted in less littering and proactive beautification of the area.

Through a partnership with waste management expert PROLOGA, we hope SAP can help to address many of the challenges such as route planning, real-time equipment oversight, staff management and citizen services. The SAP Waste and Recycling application merges seamlessly with an SAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, implemented by experienced partners such as Yash Technologies. Through this solution managers can control equipment age, track disposal bins, align pickup schedules to refuse levels in bins, plan routes with on-the-ground feedback, comply with environmental laws, and facilitate recycling economies, and more. It is clear that technology has a major part to play in creating future clean cities.

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