Sensors for waste reduction (Santander - Spain)

Case Study

Sensors for waste reduction (Santander - Spain)

The city of Santander is on the road towards becoming a smart city, and one of its most important developments in this field was the implementation of the smart waste management system.

As a preferred holiday destination, the city receives about 400,000 tourists during the summer months, producing a very significant amount of daily garbage. To reduce waste accumulation and encourage recycling, the municipality increases the number of daily work shifts and focuses more intensely on certain trash collection routes. Furthermore, Santander developed a series of urban waste recycling workshops with children on the beaches.

The city is also one of the 11 pilot cities of the Urban Waste project (, and in the scope of this programme it deployed an extensive sensor network (around 6,000 Internet of Things connected devices) to track waste management and to know in real-time the locations and the fill levels of garbage bins and containers. The municipality can then use GPS/GPRS tracking to optimise the waste collection route of its fleet. Moreover, the environmental sensors incorporated in the municipal vehicles gather data on air quality, temperature, and humidity, integrating this information in the “Ciudad Santander” App (a mobile application for citizens to consult information on a variety of public services and to report important issues to be solved) and ensuring a better public service delivery.


Case study city(ies)
Case study country(ies)
Agencie(s) involved in the case

Improved e-Governance and citizen services;

Improved solid waste management;

Improved Bio-Waste management.


Description of the specific objectives:

- Improve waste collection services and waste management processes;

- Enhance public service delivery.


City of Santander; European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.