Changed cleaning requirements
Population growth and the continuing trend towards urbanisation will have a decisive influence on all issues relating to cleaning. The world population is currently estimated at 7 billion and is expected to rise to 11 billion by 2100. As a result, municipalities today are confronted with the challenge of supporting and providing new forms of sustainable housing. High-rise buildings and vertical planting are becoming more common due to the increasing shortage of land and this will make the use of manoeuverable cleaning vehicles necessary in order to clean narrow and complex building and road structures. If the future trend is to grow plants on walls to save space on the ground, green care and watering will also change. For future municipal cleaning tasks, it will not suffice to only take roads into consideration – house facades and underwater gardens will also have to be taken into account. A house covered in algae for the subsequent production of biogas, for example, has different requirements to a house with a rendered facade. Facade cleaning will involve further challenges in particular for new building concepts – for example, so-called water houses situated near to coastal regions or rivers, which stand on piles in water and require completely different care compared to conventional houses.
Due to the increasing world population, more and more people will be living closer together. High hygiene standards are necessary in order to prevent outbreaks of diseases and epidemics. Germs and viruses must not be given a chance to develop and spread. A high demand on future cleaning tasks. In old age and care homes, hospitals and wherever many people come together: sports and cultural events, public transport, airports, town hall meetings … to name but a few examples.
Intelligent information systems for city cleaning
With all these intertwined changes and resulting new demands, the increasing level of networking, – i.e. the Internet of Things – offers diverse opportunities in numerous fields of applications.
Conceivable and already being tested for municipal cleaning is the use of intelligent sensors and information systems, which provide information when roads are dirty or where wastepaper bins need to be emptied, for example. Instead of routinely emptying all wastepaper bins throughout a district, only bins that signal they are full are emptied. In the background, appropriately optimised routes will be calculated for city cleaning – saving time and energy. After only a few cycles, it can also be determined where wastepaper bins need to be emptied more frequently than usual – and correspondingly larger capacities provided. And when squares, roads and pavements signal – sensor-controlled and networked – that they need cleaning, this will also benefit city cleaning. The size and type of cleaning vehicles and personnel to be used can be defined needs-based and appropriate plans of action drawn up. If roads signal a closure or accident, this can be handled completely differently than is the case today. Initial concepts are already implemented in modern navigation systems. However, the possibilities will increase, assuming that one day, all cars and lorries as well as the traffic infrastructure itself are networked and will be able to automatically react to targets, volume of traffic, road conditions, available parking and other variables.