Artificial Intelligence to Help Fight Construction Waste

Every year, over 70 million tons of construction waste is generated in Russia. This problem brings into the spotlight such issues as how to regulate construction waste-related matters and how to build a transparent system of control over such waste disposal and to eliminate unauthorized dump sites.

In June 2021, uniform rules for developers, management companies, carrier and recycling companies were issued in the Moscow Region, complemented by an information system for transport businesses. Registered companies get an electronic voucher authorizing them to remove waste and transport it to recycling facilities. Unauthorized construction waste dumping exposes legal entities to a penalty of up to RUB 250 thousand.

“The neural network recognizes waste carrier trucks by outline in real time and pre-processes traffic enforcement camera images,” told Mikhail Rodionov, Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Urbantech Group. “The system also recognizes their license plates captured at construction waste recycling facility entry and exit gates. The analytical module then registers the vehicle’s route and checks whether a voucher is available. If a breach is identified, e.g. a vehicle has skipped the disposal site and moves on without load, a potential violation report is sent to the Environment Ministry’s inspectors for investigation.

Over almost a year, the system has processed more than 63 thousand images with signs of potential violations. On this basis, over a thousand ordinances were issued against violators. As the result, from June 2021 to May 2022, the Moscow Region saw a 46 percent reduction in the number of unauthorized construction waste dump sites, and a 67 percent reduction in community complaints against construction waste dumps.