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Megatrends in waste management – does digitalisation have the answer?

From 27 to 28 May, the 2019 annual conference of the regional group Bayern VKS - Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung will take place in Prien am Chiemsee. At the conference – entitled "Circular Economy - Quo Vadis Waste Management" – Friederike Lauruschkus will talk about the effects of megatrends on waste management. Following a general analysis of the relevant developments, the second part of the presentation is devoted to the challenges arising from social, (cyclical) economic and technical megatrends. In the final part, solutions made possible by digitalisation will be presented and evaluated on the basis of practical examples.

Megatrend is a term used to describe changes where the effects are already being felt here and now and which are affecting all levels of society. They are an important instrument for addressing possible visions of the future in strategy development.
Social and economic developments pose major challenges for the circular-flow economy (demography, energy/transport turnaround, etc.), such as the growing consumption of energy and resources in highly industrialised Germany, which is facing a shortage of strategic resources.
However, digitalisation can provide solutions, such as new services, flexibilisation, customer orientation, increased efficiency, etc. With the help of sensors and quantity forecasts, for instance, transport logistics in densely populated areas can be optimised and needs-based emptying in rural areas can lead to high efficiency gains. In addition, waste management companies can take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation and focus much more on their customers.