The Global Garbage dump is estimated to be 3.40 billion tons annually by 2050. Our collected garbage has been so large that there are cities formed around it for years. These settlements amidst huge mountains of rubbish survive on incomes generated from waste, selling, metals, and plastics and they thrive and grow bigger, every day. The mountains of rubbish, have also in recent years become sites escalating disasters akin to natural phenomenon and a huge line up of debris. Rubbish landslides have caused a lot of deaths in the slums lacing them.
Manila’s Payatas Dump collapsed, killing more than 200 people and squashing almost 10,000 residents in 2000 and similar havoc was wrecked by the rubbish landslide in Ethiopia in 2015. Australian researchers have finely investigated this and have developed software to anticipate landslides on rubbish mountains.
The software will be able to detect landslides, as early as 2 weeks in advance, allowing easy evacuation. The technology uses AI to identify the right patterns efficiently. The algorithms, thus derived gauge ground motion, the dynamics of failure and known triggers of landslides such as rainfall (which weakens the grip between rubbish items and particles) in order to produce reliable data.
The technology has an applicable use. It can convert all the assessed data into “actionable intelligence”. “Testing this technology to see whether it provides a solution to the growing problem of rubbish slides is certainly worthwhile,” says David Biderman, CEO of Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). “In fact, it may be a good interim improvement on the path to closing the dumpsite.” Biderman is all too familiar with the growing problem of garbage cities and has worked to make SWANA a more internationally-facing company.