5 Key Technologies for Waste and Recycling in 2023
In 2023, technology has continued to disrupt the waste and recycling sector at every level, providing new insights that are opening a path toward productivity gains and increased sustainability across the industry.
1. Customer Self-Service
Self-service tools and apps continue to proliferate on hauler and municipality websites as organizations look to change recycling behavior and reduce contamination and wishcycling by residents.
Utilizing our solution, Metro Nashville Waste Services were able to connect with individuals and educate them in the comfort of their own homes, helping to improve recycling rates. Jenn Harrman, Zero Waste Program Manager, said “We’re able to send people to one place and know that they’re going to be able to really get the information that they need. By the middle of the summer of 2021, we had reduced that 46 percent contamination rate down to 28.6%.” Learn more.
Key benefits include:
- Get instant “address specific” instructions on which bin to use or where to drop off items. Eliminate costly printed materials and reduce inbound calls.
- Instantly notify individuals of upcoming collection days on their everyday devices, eliminating the need for paper reminders.Lower call volumes, save time, eliminate manual data entry, and automate reports with self-service, which allows individuals to easily and conveniently request pickups. Enable people to book appointments at drop-off events, ideal for household hazardous waste, electronics drop-off events, and bulky curbside pickups such as couches and mattresses.
- Easily view and access audit details, including type, objective, results and required follow-up actions, anytime, anywhere, on any device. Learn more.
2. Route Optimization
In the wake of the pandemic, leading haulers and municipalities are continuing to invest in route optimization software to improve fleet efficiency, reduce expenses, and boost resilience.
Utilizing our solution, the City of Lexington, Kentucky balanced over 90 routes, reducing deltas to within 200-300 stops — with several truck types being used. Eddie Dean, the IT Manager for the Division of Waste Management, said “We were able to optimize all our routes for all our commodities in three months. Before EasyRoute (a Routeware solution), this would have taken us a year-and-a-half to two years to complete.” Learn more.
Key benefits include:
- Reduce Risk: Reduce the risk of customer disruption when introducing new routes and recycling streams by using real-world data to design your routes.
- Increase Sustainability: Cut the carbon emissions and environmental impact of your operations by using fewer trucks and burning less fuel. Typically, organizations save between 15 and 25% on fuel costs with Routeware Route Optimization software.
- Increase Efficiency: Balance work more effectively between routes to accommodate growth or deliver existing services using fewer trucks.
- Enhance Service: Keep residents and businesses happy by preventing overstretched routes resulting in poor customer service.
- Scale Efficiently: Keep your regular routes efficient and under control as your business scales and customer numbers grow.
3. Live Video
Video is arguably the hottest technology in waste and recycling right now, as operators look to integrate video into fleet and back-office systems to improve safety, reduce complaints and cut the cost of go-backs. Learn more.
- 360-degree Cameras: See all service areas and get clear evidence of contamination, not-outs and additional chargeable collections – including collisions and insurance claims.
- Live Video: Stream live video from any camera on any truck to monitor situations and events in real-time.
- Recorded Video: Pull video clips for a specified date and time to be viewed and retained as required.
- Back-office Integration: View video within your back-office systems, making it quicker and easier to get what you need.
As Rachel Lattanzio, Chief Operations Officer for Gaeta Green put it: “The cameras help with safety. If there is an incident or accident, the trucks are equipped at all angles.” Learn more.
While RFID tags have been around for a long time (almost 20 years!), more and more municipalities are talking to us about how to use RFID as part of their waste and recycling program.
RFID tags provide real-time data about a cart’s location, telling program managers who’s recycling and who’s not – and whether they’re using their cart or the neighbors’.
RFID tags represent a powerful tool for recycling coordinators and others charged with increasing program participation. By targeting areas with poor set-out rates, organizations can more efficiently and effectively identify and educate where it’s needed most, saving time and money. Not only that, but RFID, much like curbside audits, continually provides new information that may be used to shape and drive strategic communication about recycling in an ongoing fashion.
5. Compliance Tracking
As sustainability legislation rolls out across the country, many operators are investing in compliance software to ensure they can meet the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for state mandates like CA SB 1383.
Software such as Routeware’s Program Tracker provides a comprehensive & customizable waste-tracking solution designed to facilitate food recovery efforts, especially for California customers in preparation for SB 1383. It allows users to track various aspects of food recovery, including Edible Food Generators, SB 1383 Tiers, Generator Type, and Food Donation Recipients.
As Laura McKaughan from Envirolutions said ““Recyclist enabled us to track our progress in a way no other system I’ve ever worked with has. I highly recommend Recyclist for tracking outreach, implementation, compliance, and reporting purposes.”
Our approach to waste software is the first of its kind. Our highly trained data engineers process your service level data, and our attentive customer success team ensures you have what you need to succeed from the start. Learn more.
These technologies work together to ensure a smooth before, at, and after the bin process for all. Utilizing them will help reduce contamination, improve performance, and make reporting easier.
Interested in learning more about how our technology can help revolutionize your waste management processes? Let’s Talk today.