WOIMA BLOG August/2018

Leading technology or people, which one comes first and when?

If you are holding “a stick” on your hands which on one end has the latest technology and on the other end has the people. But who can really determine which is more valuable?

Let’s have a look on waste pre-treatment dilemma:

Municipal solid waste Pre-treatment facilities can offer work for 5 people or 150 people, depending on the chosen technology. On one end of “the stick” you have option to invest millions to highly automated technology that works almost 24/7 with very little supervision. Machines do all waste segregation, shredding, storing, sorting, all autonomously under operator’s supervision. People who work in the facility are mainly responsible for maintenance and cleaning so that the facility keeps working.

On the other hand, you can choose semi-automated solution and provide work for many, but still keep the automation in assisting role. Segregation can be done by people, while automation will take care of the screening, shredding and storing.

But would it be better to use even lower tech and hire more people? It would be possible to make all segregation, dismantling manually, hammers, axes and move waste with wheel barrows. Even storing of the waste could be removed if the waste is collected day and night and people work in 3 shifts increasing the potential to employ people even more. When the investor wants to cut the Capital Expenditure costs by investing to high-tech but the government wants to employ people, who do You follow?

Is it more humane to provide work for few people in developed and non-developed countries (highly automated machinery), or is it better to use the money that would go to high tech equipment, to hire more local people? Or would it be more humane to segregate trash only at day time during week days and use part of the money to automation and machinery. And would it be totally inhumane to work at nights and sometimes weekends with trash?

Many health researches show that shift work is not good for our bodies and minds, specially the night shifts. Obviously, the work environment influences our bodies and minds as well. On the other hand, employment pays the bills and keeps the society up and running.

But is it less healthy to work at weekend night segregating waste or be sleeping well as unemployed?



Contact WOIMA, if you see yourself as collaboration partner in saving the planet.    

Tapani Korhonen

Chief Technology Officer, WOIMA Finland Oy



Ask more about turning Your waste into wellbeing with WOIMA Circular Economy Solutions.

Henri Kinnunen

Chief Executive Officer, WOIMA Finland Oy




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