Industry Leader Gets Connected with Perspective

7 min video  /  4 minute read

Project Scope

  • Tags: 2,563
  • Screens: 39
  • Clients: Perspective interface designed for PCs, tablets, and phones
  • Alarms: 237
  • Devices: One Dell rack-mounted server, seven Sierra Wireless modems, 16 Ethernet radios, two OnLogic Ignition Edge devices, four Allen-Bradley MicroLogix PLCs, one Allen-Bradley CompactLogix PLC
  • Architecture: Hub & Spoke (server on site with two remote edge devices)
  • Database: Microsoft SQL Server
  • Historical data logged: 16,027,292 rows of data, 389 tags

Project Overview

Waste Management (WM) desired to better serve the communities in which they operate, as well as the environment, while improving the quality of life for landfill employees. To do this, WM partnered with SCS Engineers’ Remote Monitoring & Controls division and Vertech to implement an Ignition 8.0 Perspective SCADA system at the WM landfill in West Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This design has become a standard template for SCADA at WM landfills and facilities.



Landfills and their systems require ongoing operations and maintenance support. This support can be required at any time of the day or night in all weather conditions. The support can be costly to provide in terms of the physical cost to the employee and the monetary cost to the company. 

Landfills contain many systems which are physically connected and dependent upon each other but are generally not connected together from a controls standpoint. These systems are spread out over hundreds of acres of land. Many of these systems must be monitored for environmental regulatory compliance. Like other systems, they also require maintenance and response to alarm conditions. Historically, much of the monitoring, response to alarms, and maintenance activities were performed manually.



Through the vision of Waste Management Industrial Automation Group, the team implemented an Ignition 8.0 Perspective SCADA system with the goals of improving environmental protection, reducing operations and maintenance costs, and improving the quality of life for landfill employees. The Ignition system was built upon PLCs, and remote I/O units connected via a radio and cellular modem network. Two edge devices collect the majority of the data and send it to the main Ignition server via a cellular internet connection.


For this Ignition system:

  • Built the Perspective interface to be used by employees in the office (PCs and tablets) and in the field (tablets and phones).
  • The simple and eye-catching interface shows the most important data that the employees need to do their jobs.
  • A map-based overview of the data collected from the systems allows operators and managers to quickly view important data from the connected systems.
  • Remote controls for selected equipment allows operators to make setpoint changes and restart equipment.
  • Developed interlocks to disable and enable pumps due to alarm conditions at onsite liquid storage tanks.
  • Incorporated the interface from a weather website into the Ignition system to give operators and managers site weather information without having to purchase a weather station.
  • Created automatic reports for key information that employees need to know on an ongoing basis.
  • Connected a WM safety portal website which documents site safety requirements
  • Developed a custom computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) which allows operators and managers to manage and document the maintenance activities on site.
  • Developed dashboards to give operators and managers key performance indicators for the site, including:
  • Pump overview – In-depth analysis of the pump station liquid levels and performance over a user-selected period of time. Helps managers and operators identify small problems with pumps before they become large problems.
  • Flow overview – Breakdown of landfill liquid flows and volumes into and out of the onsite liquid storage tanks. Indication of ongoing progress toward the site’s liquids disposal goals.
  • Alarm analysis – A sortable version of the Ignition alarm analysis tool. Helps managers and operators identify where they should focus their operations and maintenance efforts.
  • Level analysis – A sortable version of the Ignition alarm analysis tool focused solely on liquid level alarms.
  • Comms overview – Displays the connection status and percent uptime of remote devices.



The new system was deployed at West Edmonton Landfill in Alberta, Canada. Since then, it has set the new standard for landfill SCADA systems within Waste Management. Before it was implemented, managers had little visibility into the day-to-day operations at the site, operators were unable to control equipment remotely, and direction of field operations and maintenance activities was time-consuming and difficult. Now managers have a live view of site activities, operators know when there are problems and can remotely act to resolve those problems, thus increasing efficiency. 

The ability to monitor our compliance obligations in near-real time provides our staff with the capability to adjust to changing conditions on the ground within a long-range work capacity model. This model has shown significant value during challenging times and sets the tone for discussions on the future of landfill operations. 

Project Information

Created By:   Waste Management

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator, and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers.


Posted on October 1, 2020