Drones used for environmental monitoring

Article image - Drones used for environmental monitoring Councilís Waste Services team use a drone to conduct environmental testing at landfill sites.

Mackay Regional Council, Queensland, is using a drone to conduct environmental testing at some of Council’s landfill sites.

The drone uses an infrared system to measure levels of different atmospheric gases in the area. 

Although the presence of gases does not pose a threat to residents or the environment, Council collects the data every six months to identify and monitor any changes.

The drone has no cameras so it cannot capture any images of properties, or record any resident’s personal information.

The use of the drone for environmental testing means more areas can be accessed and limiting the amount of vehicle travel required reduces Council’s carbon footprint. 

It also reduces the risk of accident to staff members and man-hours needed to complete the task.

Before the use of drones, monitoring was undertaken by a staff member walking across the landfills with a handheld monitor.

The uneven surface was a trip hazard and the task took two to three days to complete. Drones can complete the testing in just a few hours.