Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Cleveland Hopes to Crack Down on Illegal Dumping With AI

The Ohio city hopes to, through a partnership with Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University, develop artificial intelligence technology to identify illegal dumping and alert authorities.

(TNS) — The city of Cleveland will work with Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University on a solution for illegal dumping that’s powered by artificial intelligence.

The end product will ideally provide new city-owned technology that Cleveland could use to identify people responsible for dumping, according to Roy Fernando, chief innovation and technology officer under Mayor Justin Bibb, who has promised to use technology to improve city services.

Cleveland City Council on Monday approved legislation allowing students and faculty, who are part of the two universities’ Internet of Things Collaborative, to commence work. It was one of two initiatives approved this week that is intended to bring “smart” technology to city devices and operations.

Students and staff will use smart cameras to develop and test an AI model designed to identify illegal dumping. Such work would be performed in a controlled-environment, likely on-campus, “where students will walk into the field of view of a monitor” and leave an item behind, Fernando said.

Once the model has been tweaked and perfected, it would be able to identify that person as having illegally dumped the item on the ground, Fernando said.

Then, the city intends to deploy smart cameras outfitted with the new technology on two corridors known for being dumping hotspots. One would be deployed on the city’s East Side, and one on the West Side, Fernando said.

Once someone dumps an item and the AI model detects it, it would automatically alert authorities, so they could investigate and potentially ticket whoever’s responsible.

If the test projects are successful, the technology could then be scaled-up for use elsewhere in Cleveland. The technology could also serve as a guide, of sorts, for creating different smart-city solutions for other problems, Fernando said.

Ward 3′s Councilman Kerry McCormack, who has long advocated for Cleveland to begin using smart-city technology, praised the idea during a Monday committee hearing. He identified illegal dumping as one of the city’s largest problems.

Ward 14′s Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, who said illegal dumping has been a big concern in alleyways in her neighborhood, was a bit skeptical. “We [already] know the hotspots for illegal dumping. That’s not the question,” Santana said. “[The issue is] capacity within the illegal dumping task force, and cameras.”

The second smart-city initiative approved by Council on Monday was a no-cost partnership with Honeywell, a manufacturing and technology company, to develop a “smart city roadmap” that could be used to guide Cleveland’s future use of technology in delivering city services.

Cleveland was one of five cities selected for the partnership by Accelerator for America, which is a coalition of U.S. mayors that seeks and shares innovative solutions for problems commonly faced by municipalities.

Technology advancements identified by Honeywell could relate to any number of city services or needs. Examples mentioned by Fernando and McCormack include uses for transportation, sustainability, smart buildings, smart sensors embedded in roads or other infrastructure, meter-reading for utilities, making traffic lights more efficient, or monitoring air quality or waste collection.

Over a two- or three-month period, Honeywell will interview leaders of several city departments about challenges they routinely face. Honeywell will then present findings about how to address those challenges with smart technology, Fernando said.

Bibb intends to use those findings and recommendations to apply for federal grants that would be used to pay for the needed technology upgrades, he said.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
From Our Partners