Blockchain for Waste Management in Smart Cities: A Survey

Raja Wasim Ahmad, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman, Ibrar Yaqoob, Mohammed Omar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Smart cities have the potential to overcome environmental problems caused by improper waste disposal by improving human health, protecting the aquatic ecosystem, and reducing air pollution. However, today's systems, approaches, and technologies leveraged for waste management are manual and centralized. This fact makes them vulnerable to manipulation and the single point of failure problem. Also, a large portion of the existing waste management systems within smart cities fall short in providing operational transparency, traceability, audit, security, and trusted data provenance features. In this paper, we explore the key role of blockchain technology in managing waste within smart cities as it can offer traceability, immutability, transparency, and audit features in a decentralized, trusted, and secure manner. We discuss the opportunities brought about by blockchain technology in various waste management use cases and application scenarios, including real-time tracing and tracking of waste, reliable channelization and compliance with waste treatment laws, efficient waste resources management, protection of waste management documentation, and fleet management. We introduce a framework that leverages blockchain-based smart contracts to automate the key services in terms of waste management of smart cities. We compare the existing blockchain-based waste management solutions based on important parameters. Furthermore, we present insightful discussions on several ongoing blockchain-based research projects and case studies to highlight the practicability of blockchain in waste management. Finally, we present open challenges that act as future research directions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)131520-131541
Number of pages22
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2021


  • Blockchain
  • IoT
  • security
  • smart cities
  • traceability
  • waste management


Dive into the research topics of 'Blockchain for Waste Management in Smart Cities: A Survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this