Guest Blog | The 4th Industrial Revolution in Practice – WasteIQ, the Open Waste Management Platform

Toralf Igesund, Head of Planning at BIR, Bergen, Norway, has previously written on the ISWA blog describing how BIR Net implemented an underground suction system improving waste handling in the medieval city centre of Bergen. In this article, Toralf presents the next BIR development - WasteIQ, the Open Waste Management Platform.

18 Sep 2018 -

BIR is a public company owned by municipalities around Bergen, Norway, with a long history of using modern technology to improve waste management


It was a challenge to bring the medieval city centre of Bergen up to the same level of service as the rest of our district. The result was an underground suction system as described in this blogpost.


Illustration 1 (on the left, first from the top): WasteIQ is a platform that connects both CRM systems, ERP systems and different software connected to waste collection infrastructure.


In response to ISWA’s call for contributions regarding the 4th Industrial Revolution in practice, a follow up to the 4th Industrial Revolution Report released in 2017, BIR submits the case study of our recent development – the open platform WasteIQ. 


BIR has introduced a PAYT-fee and adopted it to different types of infrastructure; 140 l bins, underground containers and suction system. This has increased recycling and customer satisfaction. The reduction of residual waste (approx. 8%) is similar to the effect of large, expensive central sorting plants. 


It has also resulted in the BossID framework, developed by inhouse programmers at BIR. There was a need to log user data, manage user IDs and normalize data collected from different kinds of infrastructure. When a PAYT system is implemented, every emptying of bins, or opening of hatches is an economic transaction. Your whole economy depends on the structured dataflows and secure, traceable systems. On the other hand; eliminating «freeriders» basically funds the investment.


BIR has several times discussed the possibility of assisting other cities in implementing similar strategies. BIR is however, not a commercial company, staffed to sell and maintain services to other cities. The solution has been to establish WasteIQ platform. 


WasteIQ – the Open Waste Management Platform 


WasteIQ is established as an independent company to enable sharing of best practices and technology. The primary target group for the platform is municipal waste companies that today operate in a complex environment of fragmented technology standards and many time-consuming management systems. It is a goal to achieve better integration between operating systems and customer management systems. 


WasteIQ is rewriting the original BossID code into modern scaleable code. It is cloudbased and accessible everywhere. BIR will be WasteIQs first customer, and other Norwegian cities are waiting to join the system as it is maturing. 


WasteIQ promotes standardisation and best practice. It wants to establish an early user-forum for all players who use WasteIQ and to facilitate training in the system. The intention is to build a culture of sharing and higher level of transparency, and to develop modules and solutions that can be used across different installations but managed and further developed in a uniform manner. This should enable code-sharing, less duplication and reduce the need for costly integration projects. The goal is to do this as openly as possible, also for third party developers. By standardizing data across cities, WasteIQ will be able to create aggregated analyses of the differences between user behaviour in different cities in the future.


Plans for a Nordic user summit are under preparation. It is still early days, but WasteIQ should be a platform for the public waste management sector to follow in the years to come. 


You will find a more detailed and technical description of WasteIQ in this Whitepaper.


Illustration 2 (on the left, second from the top): WasteIQ is an open platform that promotes standardization and best practise, building a culture of sharing and higher level of transparency.


About the upcoming 4th Industrial Revolution report by ISWA 


BIR is an ISWA partner for the upcoming ISWA report "HOW THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION TRANSFORMS THE WASTE SECTOR", which explores specific case studies and concepts that has already significantly transformed the waste management industry.


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