Five Ways Drone Data Can Better Your Landfill Operations

In the last few years, drones have started to become a tool for better landfill management and operation. But their utility goes way beyond site monitoring and pretty pictures, they can give you more data about your landfill than ever before.

So how can you get the most out of your drone data? Let’s walk through a handful of ways to better use drone-captured data on your landfill.


1. Calculate remaining airspace in seconds

At the end of the day, you just need to know how much airspace you have left. Whether it’s for a specific cell or the entire landfill, this number matters, but too often isn’t accurate enough. When compaction-rate estimates go awry, not knowing can cost you big.

Aside from the drone surveying benefits gained from having up-to-date information more frequently, with processing platforms like Propeller, you can calculate remaining airspace in seconds. It’s just a matter of a few clicks.

landfill airspace calculation using drone data

To make this calculation even more useful, you can also upload top-of-waste design. You can then view your site today compared to its TOW, all in 3D. With these parameters, you can also see where you’ve overfilled.


2. Track your density accurately and quickly

You can use drone data and a processing platform to calculate compaction rates and densities in a fraction of the time, and do it more accurately. Easily compare rates between surveys or with the design itself, then add in weighbridge data and let Propeller do the math.

Landfill density calculation using drone data

Similarly, when you fly frequently, you build up a visual history of your landfill. This drone data timeline lets you see and measure settlement over time and place. Is one part of your landfill settling faster than the rest? Drone imagery rendered into a measurable, 3D site visualization makes it easy to spot that—and communicate it to the people who need to know.


3. Ensure safety on your landfill

From everyday safety plans to inspections to traffic management, ensuring safety is in everything you do.

Drone data allows you to trim manhours off tasks like these because you can measure roads to ensure they meet safety standards in a few clicks and inspections no longer have to be done in person. For example, you could provide an inspector with view-only access to your date, and they could visually inspect your landfill on any browser-enabled device.

The inspection tool also allows you to examine any individual photo in the dataset. These images are high-resolution and shareable. Short- and long-term traffic management can be streamlined with accurate, bird’s-eye visuals of assets, past vehicle movement, and existing roads. Mark off gas pipes before they’re covered—and have the photos to back up their locations.

And, of course, don’t underestimate the value of site maps. Both the orthophoto and individual shots are accessible and downloadable. Use them however you like: tack up the site photo in the office, use it to map out that day’s traffic with your team or visitors, etc.

If you want a deeper dive on this topic, download our ebook: Safety and Drones.
Safety nad Drones

4. Avoid environmental fines

Environmental inspections are a regular part of waste management. Whether it’s checking runoff after a large rainfall or ensuring regulatory conformance, keeping everything to code is a regular part of your workweek.

To avoid failed inspections or violations, you need to keep tabs on your landfill boundaries and no-go zones. In addition to the benefits of more frequent surveys and a visual 3D interface, you can mark off protected areas on your landfill and share those with your team. This gets everyone on the same page and highlights exactly where to be cautious.

Environmental area on a landfill site

Propeller’s timeline slider bundles multiple site surveys into one package. You can view before and after images of big events and keep make sure environmental zones aren’t disturbed over time.


5. Resolve cell-building disputes faster and more easily

One of the most expensive activities on any landfill is digging out new cells. Often you depend on contractors to do some or all of this work. Any mistakes or disputes quickly rack up costs and use time you don’t have.

With drone data and visualization platforms like Propeller, you can ensure quality on a contractor’s work and resolve disputes faster. Quickly calculate volumes moved. Slide between survey dates from one flyover to the next and see what’s changed. Get the actual numbers on a cell’s dimensions and its progress towards design in a simple cross-section view.

Additionally, Propeller’s simple sharing and permissions options enable unheard of transparency between you, your team, and other stakeholders. Avoid mistakes and misunderstandings by working from a single source of truth.


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Read more:
How to Use Drone Data to Improve Landfill Performance
Improve Landfill Management with Drone Mapping and Analytics
Optimizing Landfill Density Using Drone Data

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