How Thermal Cameras and Technology are transforming the waste management industry

The United Kingdom is a country that doesn't seem to be slowing down when it comes to growth, even with all its challenges, such as Brexit and the economy. According to the Office for National Statistics, it is projected that the population will grow steadily, passing 70 million people in 2026. Which for waste sites only means two things, more waste and the higher chance of fires and hazards!

This suggests that the steady increase will be a gentle pressure for waste sites, with the recent restrictions that China has placed on UK waste as of January this year. This could see the UK struggling to be able to manage and deal with all waste safely and efficiently, according to recent reports made in the Guardian

waste management and thermal cameras

With this in mind, thermal technology, in particular, software such as TST Fire Indoor software is becoming a popular choice within the waste detection sector. Waste Management Services such as London Waste are investing in this technology now to continuously monitor areas with various levels of risk with minimum hassle and maximum precision. London Waste currently look after just over seven North London boroughs with high turnovers of waste and recently won in the category of ‘Health and Safety Best Practice’ at the CIWM Sustainability and Resource Awards 2017.

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Many people in the public eye are unaware of how dangerous excess waste can be if not managed correctly and also what causes them in the first instance. Fires in waste management sites occur when a build-up of heat is not detected during the early stages.

As waste starts to both build up and decompose, this lets off large amounts of heat and gas including methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, volatile organics and the production of dioxins and furans. These gases along with enough heat and oxygen, pressure from the ground can easily spark off a fire and potential hazard. There are usually two main types of fires which can occur. Surface fires and deep-seated fires, the latter being the most prone sort of fire waste management systems in the UK would ever have to deal with.

The early stages of fires in waste sites are hard to spot with the human eye, however with the use of thermal technology detection can be found earlier than ever before. Thermal cameras as used within the TST Fire Indoor software utilise their pan and tilt features so all areas which have increased risk can be monitored at once.

Often, people, assume that any areas being monitored with this technology are off limits for staff and/or vehicles - in fear that the camera will detect their 37 degrees selfs as a walking fire hazard - however, this isn't the case at all. The advanced image analysis allows you to identify and filter out vehicles and persons, significantly reducing false alarm rates.

Without waste sites investing in this sort of thermal technology, fires caused by our waste can quickly get out of hand and escalate into something more serious. Which can lead to the reduction in turnover, efficiency of the site, and increase costs to fix the situation. Though not often, insurance companies are in their right to decline any claims if the company fails to illustrate that they have invested in the correct equipment in their site for potential issues such as landfill and waste related fires. But this can be avoided by implementing the right tools and equipment as prevention and safeguarding long-term strategy.

If you are looking for professional advice regarding your current set up at your premises, feel free to give us a call on 01234 219421 or email us on