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How Routeware City Can Help Your City

How Routeware City Can Help Your City Contamination Rates Call Volume Cost Savings

How Routeware City Can Help Your City

We are excited to announce Routeware City, a community engagement platform that allows you to test out our tools for yourself!

Consider this a clear value proposition of how the tools can help your city.

If you’re looking for a companion guide for how to utilize the tool, click here.

If you’re looking for more information on the tools of Routeware City and beyond, click here.

Note: below we will walk through the benefits our tools provide: Contamination Rates & Education, Cost Savings, Lower Call Volumes, Modernized Operations, and meeting Compliance & Sustainability Goals – plus other tool features, data integration, the web widget, the mobile app, and more.

If you have something specific in mind, please feel free to use the anchor links above, scroll to that section, or search utilizing cmd/ctrl+F.

Contamination Rates & Education

Our Community tools help

  • Reduce contamination rates and illegal dumping.
  • Assist in the proper disposal of hazardous waste, e-waste, and more.
  • Assist in auditing & educational efforts for better understanding of current waste disposal practices, weak points, and successes.
  • Plus they save costs and resources related to printing paper and emissions from mailing.

We’ve reminded people about their collection days over 1.35 billion times, helping move over 90 million tons of material through the value chain more efficiently and effectively.

Nashville, TN adopted our tools in March 2021. “By the middle of the summer of 2021, we had reduced a 46 percent contamination rate down to 28.6%.” – Jenn Harrman, Zero Waste Program Manager for Metro Nashville Services.

The City of Victoria, BC saw a 37% increase in diversion rate after 1 year (goal was 30%).

For Rogue Disposal, improved education, communication, and engagement with customers – plus enhanced campaign tracking with digital analytics – led to lower contamination rates.

In Abbotsford, British Columbia – well, we’ll let them take it away.

“By using tools like the city’s Waste Wizard and learning how to properly sort items and which items aren’t acceptable, residents can become better recyclers, which will in turn help to reduce our contamination rates and create a safer and more sustainable city.” — Ross Siemens, Mayor of Abbotsford.

“We really like the Curbside tool because it gives us information about specific households rather than a giant zone. We can really identify hot spots and really direct our educational efforts there.” — Julie Kanya, Solid Waste and Environmental Coordinator for the City of Abbotsford.

The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC), MI saw an estimated 50% decrease in recycling contamination at drop-off centers as a result of their continuous recycling education efforts combined with their digital tools.

El Paso recycling improved under new operator (and Routeware customer) Waste Connections. The city’s contamination rate has fallen from 34% in 2021 to 23% in 2023, an 11% decrease!

Towson University in Maryland was awarded as an Education and Awareness Winner of the 2023 Campus Race to Zero Waste!

Denton, Texas won last year’s small community Resource Recycling Program of the Year Award for pushing progress in data collection, resident outreach and more.

The City of Cary, NC won Carolina Recycling Association’s 2020 Annual Recycling Award, after seeing a 3% decrease in contamination rate within six months of adoption.

In the City of Brooklyn Park, MN 25 percent speak a language other than English at home (including Spanish, Hmong and Vietnamese), and 20 percent came to the United States from other countries.

With our digital tools for communication, Brooklyn Park now reaches the people it serves— in multiple languages, up to 15 available —through collection calendars, month-long community challenges, the Waste Wizard (“Can I Recycle This?” in Brooklyn Park) and culturally appropriate recycling guidance.

A growingly diverse population was served, breaking through language and cultural barriers.

During a two-week period in February 2019, the City of Phoenix hosted a school recycling competition which involved 5 schools and 1,800 students. 

Their Waste Sorting Game had a total of 4,437 plays during this time. 

Kirkwood, Missouri reduced contamination rates from 15% to 6% in under a year.

Niagara Region, Ontario saw their total amount of garbage decrease by 16%, while organics went up by 24% and recycling went up by 8%.

Cambridge, Massachusetts reduced contamination from from 11% in 2018 to 4% in 2020, saving $100k in 2020.

Cost Savings

When people can download a recycling calendar at home, their waste services providers don’t have to mail them — reducing the CO2 generated by delivery by more than 88 tons per year.

The estimated savings of not distributing calendars “$400,000 per year, the equivalent of 200 trees!” – Philippa Wagner, Green Cart Implementation Leader, City of Calgary.

In Austin, TX, the switch to digital tools saves the city ~$66,000 a year, and almost $200,000 over a three year period.

Taking The City of Cary, NC’s waste information and notifications to a digital platform has replaced more than 50,000 printed and mailed recycling schedules and materials lists, which has yielded a cost savings of more than $5,000 annually on print, design, and paper costs while also generating less waste.

In line with their commitment to go paperless, they discontinued their mailed leaf schedule in the fall of 2020, saving over $15,000 annually in design, print and postage. Seeing success and citizens’ positive response confirmed that their goals and trajectory made sense.

“We only need between 7-10% of unique visits to the Waste Wizard on our website to have replaced a phone call to the Council to have saved more than the annual cost of the Waste Wizard.” – Andrew Jenkins, Waste Prevention Team Leader for Buckinghamshire Council, UK.

“We always link and promote the Waste Wizard in our messaging because the whole online tool saves a ton of time and money.” – Mike Dawe, Environmental Coordinator for the City of Saskatoon, SK.

“The Collection Calendar tool has so many scheduled reminders that help reduce the number of calls to the City’s Customer Care Center. Just the reminders alone translate to big cost savings for the City.” – Brendan Fehr, Marketing Consultant for the City of Saskatoon.

The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council saw $2k saving in printing costs.

“You get so much value out of it. I would highly recommend the Routeware system to anyone.” – Derek Ochej, Public Education and Promotion Coordinator at Public Works for the City of Kingston, ON.

Pequot Sanitation, a small 5 route operation in Minnesota lost a staff member, and thanks to their Community tools, they had a replacement already built in.

Now, Pequot is saving ~$30,000 annually, on top of ~$1,500 in savings for printed calendars.

This has resulted in a non-DCF (discounted cash flow) ROI of approximately $5 for every dollar spent.

Our tools also save money through saving hours and hours that employees would otherwise have to cover.

Hundreds of hours in savings. This puts a lot of value in the products themselves.” Robert van den Akker, Public Works Environmental Manager for the City of Buckeye, Arizona.

Not only do our tools save you money, but they make you money as well – learn more about special collection, appointment scheduler, and online bill pay.

Lower Call Volumes

In Cambridge, MA, mattresses joined the list of items that are banned from disposal or transportation in the state of Massachusetts.

Cambridge was ready.

“The tool reduces our call volume for mattresses by 99%.”  – Mike Orr, Cambridge’s Recycling Director. The city sees about 5,000 mattress collections per yer. “Taking 5,000 calls would be very painful.”

Greensboro, NC reduced calls by 500 per month.

“Residents were aware we knew about their missed collection, our Contact Center didn’t get bombarded with calls, and we provided better customer service than we would have been able to without Routeware’s tools. We were able to be proactive instead of reactive in this instance and that is something that Routeware helps us continue to do.” – Tori Carle, Waste Reduction Supervisor for Greensboro, NC.

I figure we’ve saved ourselves from about 200 calls per day. If each person spent a minute to a minute and a half on the phone, that adds up to about five hours on the phone every day. That, to me, is a tremendous figure.” – Mike Csapo, General Manager for The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC), MI.

“Not only do I have fewer emails to return, residents no longer have to wait for me to answer the email; the information is at their fingertips with our digital tools.” – Saundra Porter, Project Manager.

In just one year, Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba had a 42% decrease in email inquiries and saw phone inquiries drop by 40%, freeing their staff up to take on more creative projects.

In Sunnyvale, CA, customer service representatives were fielding some 50 to 100 requests for collections per week, and even more toward the end of the year as the community tried to schedule their remaining allotted bulky pickups.

We digitized 100 Special Collection Requests for Sunnyvale weekly. Since then, bulky item requests have only increased 64.34% (~5000) while call volume continues to decrease 3.56% (~200).

The University of Michigan is a leader in waste and diversion efforts, having placed first in the 2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste. To help people understand and engage in campus recycling at an award-winning level, the office of campus sustainability leverages digital communication tools from Routeware, which has led to lower call & email volumes alike.

Plus, the place QR codes linking to the app directly at the point of decision, helping and encouraging their students to make the right choice.

The City of Waco, TX saw their call volume drop by 20% while they communicated a re-route and saw their contamination rate drop using the tool.

“I don’t know about you, but the majority of the questions I have are at 9:00 at night, when we’re not open.” – Ashley Millerd, Outreach Coordinator and Solid Waste Administrator.

Now, people don’t have to call and leave a message and wait for an answer — and employees don’t have to return a flood of voicemails at the beginning of each shift. 

The City of East Hants, NS saw their call volumes reduced from 5000 to 3000 to 1200 a year.

“The app has caused a reduction of about 20% calls for certain services including the bulky pick up.” – Jim Reinbruger, Asst. Director Solid Waste Management for the City of Durham, NC.

In 2019, Buckeye, AZ conducted a phone data analysis that proved they have saved over 500 hours worth of call time with their tools.

“This system has assisted us with streamlining recycling education and reduced call volume by 60%.” – Bloomington, IN.

Modernized Operations & Communication

Nearly 15 million people have used our Community tools to better their recycling behaviour.

In Durham, NC, bulky pickups were like “the wild west.”

“If a resident puts a bulky item out on Tuesday and called us up…and their neighbour comes by and grabs it – which is great, we love re-use – the resident would assume that we picked it up, and so we’d still send a driver out to go get it when we could and it would be a waste of a trip – waste of time, waste of gas, and just inefficient.”

Now, the “Number one thing that’s nice about the tool is that residents schedule their own collections online. They pick the day and time it’s going to be picked up…If they schedule a Friday pickup on Tuesday, and by Wednesday their item is already gone, they still get a reminder Thursday night asking if we should still pick it up or if they want to cancel. They realize we didn’t pick it up, they cancel, and it saves us a trip. It also leaves open a slot for someone else to get a pickup scheduled.”

“We set our own schedules too. We have 120 open slots for bulky pickup a day. Say one of the drivers is going on vacation next week, we can now set the available slots to 90 each day. So it helps supervisors care for their crews and makes sure nobody’s getting overworked and the workload is reasonable. It also helps us serve customers when we say we’re going to serve them.

“We’ve got a lot of compliments on the new tool as well…for us it’s just been a monumental leap in customer service and our own efficiency.”

“Our tools give residents information the way they expect it today, help us meet people where they are, and save us time and FTEs.” — Jim Reingruber Asst. Director, Solid Waste Management.

The City of Austin, TX launched its Austin Recycles App in March 2020. In its first six months, it saw more than 7,000 downloads, which is double the benchmark average for cities of Austin’s size.

Within 6 months, 85% of the city’s addresses had been searched for collection information, which is 10% over the benchmark.

“All of Routeware’s tools are so innovative and easy to use. They really help me save time and help focus on strategy and planning.” – Keri Greenwalt Digital Communications, Austin Resource Recovery.

In the 2023 SE Recycling Awards, Orange County, NC won the public recycling division for their Recycling Stars Program, while Single Stream Recyclers in Sarasota, FL won the industry division for their MRF.

The City of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada uses the app to notify people about street sweepings, outages for electricity and water, and other service alerts, with plans to communicate information about snow routes & more in the future, too.

“We really weren’t looking for any new digital tools, [but] it kind of won me over.” – Mike Csapo, General Manager for The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC), MI.

“Everything has been really simple and easy. Working with providers is usually challenging.” – Robert van den Akker, Public Works Environmental Manager for the City of Buckeye, Arizona.

In the City of Waco, TX  a re-route was communicated, and there was a spike in mobile app usage during the ‘Big Freeze’. “We didn’t have to go to a water boil [during the big freeze] because we were able to relay the notice through the app.”Ashley Millerd, Outreach Coordinator and Solid Waste Administrator

Compliance & Sustainability Goals

In Sunnyvale, CA, dirty, smelly carts were a barrier to community participation in the organics program and Recycling confusion and frustration with new programs was mounting.

Enter the Waste Wizard. Utilizing the tool, residents were better able to understand what goes where.

Cleaner recyclables and clearer communication led to lower contamination rates, helping the city march towards meeting their 2030 Zero Waste goal.

In less than a year, since launching their digital recycling tools in August 2020, Scottsbluff, NE reached every initial goal they set – including a downturn in illegal dumping.

“We’re one of the smallest companies (in California), yet we were the best prepared for SB 1383.” – Jeff Martin, Owner, American Refuse. Meanwhile, the special Collections tool has curbed illegal dumping while opening business pathways.

The City of Brooklyn Park, MN’s tools support the area’s countywide goal of recycling 75 percent of solid waste by 2030.

Other Tool Features

Need Help?

Your residents might.

That’s why we include a customizable Need Help button in all of our web widgets and mobile apps, to improve the user experience, and to reduce the amount of queries you have to handle.

We also provide a complete list of searchable materials for residents to browse through.

This is alongside making our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Cookie Policy freely available for the sake of transparency and honesty.

All of this helps to reduce the burden placed on your city to field questions and concerns while increasing resident satisfaction.

Data Integration

“We didn’t have to worry about flipping a switch going from the old information to the new: Routeware was able to incorporate both systems simultaneously.” – Derek Ochej, Public Education and Promotion Coordinator at Public Works for the City of Kingston.

Embedded Widget

You’ve got plenty of things going on with your website. There’s information everywhere, and there’s so much to convey. It can get overwhelming for a visitor.

That’s why we designed our tool to be embeddable on any webpage, so you can place the whole tool or versions of the tool wherever you may like.

The tool, visually stimulating, holds attention in the middle of the page and allows the desired connection between resident and city to take place, reducing confusion and enhancing connection.

Mobile App & Service Alerts

“Our mobile app, Durham Rollout, has 4.9 stars on the App Store. We never get complaints about it from anyone. That thing is flawless!” — Jim Reingruber Asst. Director, Solid Waste Management for the City of Durham, NC

A mobile app is the best way to meet your residents where they are at all times, with the convenience and accessibility of simply reaching in their pocket any time, any place they have a question.

Our customers link their apps – we build for both Android and iOS devices – directly below their widget, directing residents to your white-labelled app in the respective app store, simplifying the promotion and adoption processes.

Many of our customers like to place a Service Alert Sign-up call-to-action for their own residents to sign up for their city’s service updates and notifications right underneath the tool, a service that can be configured in many different ways.

As an example, Fort Hood Army Base is “the U.S. Army leader in recycling,” The Recycler reports. With help from its digital tools, Fort Hood’s recycling program works to educate soldiers and civilians alike about ways to collaborate for “a greener future,” using $89,000 in recycling revenue to sponsor 32 soldier and family events.

Not Sold?

That’s okay – why don’t we let the residents who’ve used our app tell you how great it is?

“I love the weekly reminders and clear calendar of pickup days. It’s so helpful to have that just available on an app, especially since I just moved to Sacramento. I also love that you can look up how to dispose of items super clearly and it’s all in one place. I even got a reminder today about the new organics composting collection starting July 1st (the yard waste/green bin will now also be able to be used for food scraps and food, soiled paper for composting!) and it was worded very clearly.”

“I like having a reminder message the evening before, as I would previously, sometimes, forget. Now I never have to miss another debris pick up date or wonder which week it is, (garbage, recycles, yard debris, etc) since the schedule does vary. Also, it’s nice to be notified of any changes due to inclement weather and holiday schedules! Other info on the app is useful as well. Thank you!”

“I’ll admit it, I’m a pretty forgetful person. Trash is my chore, and before this app! Regularly forgot to take my bin to the curb on trash day. The weekly reminders have made me MUCH better about getting trash to the curb on time. Plus, there are helpful reminders about pickup schedule changes due to holidays or weather issues. My spouse is happier, my house is happier, I’m happier. Thanks, Sanipac.”

“When I first got this app. I really didn’t have high expectations. I mean it’s a government app. How great could it be? I can’t believe how functional and efficient this app is! The best part of it is the reminders. When you travel a lot, the fact that recycling doesn’t occur every week can be really frustrating & confusing–unless you have this app. Since I got it, we haven’t missed recycling once! Seriously, get it. You’ll wonder why you didn’t get it earlier.”

Thank you for reading through the value our tools can provide your city!

If you’re looking for more information on the tools of Routeware City and beyond, click here.

If you’re looking for our companion guide on how to utilize Routeware City, click here.

If you’re ready to have an initial, exploratory talk with a dedicated waste professional, Get Started here or by clicking on the orange button below.


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