A Scottish Tech Company is Going to Track All Our Rubbish

By Holly Brockwell on at

Scottish data analytics firm Topolytics has landed itself a major contract with the Department for Environmental and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to monitor and track all the rubbish in the country.

Working with map authority Ordnance Survey, Topolytics (which is impossible to type correctly the first time, thanks guys) will create a smart waste-tracking system that will follow it from its source to your bin and through to its final destination. UK rubbish apparently makes 20 million movements, so the company will have a lot of tracking to do, especially since it'll include not just households but also local councils, businesses and construction sites.

Topolytics CEO Michael Groves comments:

"We are excited to be partnering with the Ordnance Survey on delivering a powerful and practical solution for the UK's environmental regulators and waste managers. Our combination of waste industry experience, software development, data science and geospatial analytics is a powerful mix."

Well, we guess he couldn't really say "we are well excited to have a good old tabloid-style rummage in the UK's collective bins." (Note: no one's actually going to rummage in your bin, don't get angry in the comments).

In all seriousness, the project sounds like a great idea for making future improvements to how we handle waste in the UK. The government's aim in awarding the contract is to find out exactly where rubbish comes from, how's handled and processed, and where it goes. Hopefully in the long term, this kind of initiative -- as well as things like reusable packaging -- will help us stop relying so much on landfill.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash