Drone Technology Applications In Waste Management

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In Kenya, waste management is a major problem especially in our urban areas. Waste products are all over including plastic bags, polythene bags, waste food etc. Most of these waste end up on road sides and rivers. It leads to environmental pollution and health risks. For example in Nairobi, a lot of waste in dumped in Nairobi River, residential areas in Ngara, Dandora, and other slums in Nairobi suburbs.

The Government is making a lot effort to control waste in Nairobi. Some of its measures include hiring youths to collect waste. This might be expensive and might not be the most effective way to tackle the issue of waste management in Nairobi. Some of the waste dumpsites might be out of access by human beings, and therefore the government should consider other options in fighting dumping of waste in the city. Drone Technology provides an effective solution in the fight against environmental pollution caused by excessive disposal of waste in rivers, forests, roadsides and settlement areas.


Drones offer a number of contributions in waste management. These contributions include:

1. Monitoring litter and dumpsites

 Drones can be used to take aerial photos of dump sites and landfills. This can provide real time data for city planners and waste collection companies. This data can help the relevant stakeholders come up with appropriate ways to manage this waste. Some counties in USA are using drones to take aerial photos of landfills and provide data to waste management authorities.

 South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), an agency that offer waste management solutions is using drones to survey waste disposal sites in Las Cruces City, New Mexico. Drones are cheaper than manned flights that were formerly used to manage waste.

2. Monitoring illegal waste disposal

 Drones can be used to monitor the city in order to identify illegal disposal of waste products. For instance, Nairobi County government can use drones to monitor forests, Nairobi River and settlement areas to monitor illegal disposal. Those who are caught engaging in improper disposal should be held accountable through arrests, fines, and other disciplinary actions.

3.Flame spewing drones

 Power companies use drone flame throwers to burn waste materials on power lines. This protects the workers against risks of climbing power poles to get rid of the waste materials on the power lines. These risks include electrocution and falling from the power poles.

4. Collecting abandoned litter

 Drones can also be used to collect abandoned litter in remote areas that are not easily accessible by human beings. Drones are operated remotely making it possible to collect waste materials without the need to travel to the dump site.


 Waste disposal is a major challenge especially in our cities. It is difficult to control waste disposal and drones offer solutions including monitoring and collecting the waste. City authorities should therefore take advantage of technology advancements to tackle the issue of waste management.