Taking a dynamic approach to the future of waste collections

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Our urban environments are growing ever larger – more people, greater consumption, more waste. Our cities are changing and it is up to local governments to ensure that these changes are sustainable and occur in an environment that prioritises the health and wellbeing of their citizens.

Smart services are opening up a world of opportunities for cities, and authorities need to take advantage of new digital solutions to ensure long-term sustainable municipal waste management solutions for tomorrow.

Traditional schedule-based waste collections are inefficient, costing unnecessary time and fuel. Dynamism is the name of the game, and municipal waste services that make use of data collected from a variety of sources are based placed to allocate resources effectively, achieving efficiencies in operating costs and CO2 emissions, while providing an excellent service for residents.

Taking a dynamic approach to the future of waste collectionsAMCS is at the forefront of dynamic route optimisation approaches. Taking data from bin sensors that monitor the levels of waste within them and analysing this data allows operators to understand when bins are ready for collection and prioritise routes accordingly.

Taking such a dynamic approach can lead to 20-40 per cent reductions in CO2 emissions, mileage and driving time, a 20-45 per cent reduction in the number of vehicles needed, and a 25-60 per cent reduction in time spent on planning and administration, while also minimising container overflow.

Twente Milieu, a local authority-owned waste management company operating in the Twente region in the Netherlands. used AMCS to integrate route optimisation into its system in a bid to reduce the number of stops on collection routes and reduce CO2 emissions. On average, they were doing 43 stops a trip, with bins filled to an average of 50 per cent, collecting between 1,800 to 2,000 trash bags. 

Following AMCS’ optimisation process, collection route times fell from five hours and 44 minutes to three hours and 52 minutes, making 28 stops for a fully-loaded vehicle rather than 43 stops, largely due to collecting bins that were on average 75 per cent full rather than 50 per cent. Vehicles now collect 2,170 kilogrammes (kg) per hour rather than 1,500kg, and one truck has been removed from service and the purchase of two new trucks has been cancelled, saving money and fuel.

Another example of this smart approach is AMCS’ Guided Navigation software. The platform allows for the consolidation of knowledge and experience held by drivers of refuse collection vehicles, providing all drivers with visual and voice-based instructions for collection routes, based on recorded routes recorded by experienced drivers.

The software can be controlled in the office, allowing for the analysis of routes, route editing, comparison of planned versus actual routes, live tracking of routes in progress and managing the directions and instructions fed through to the in-vehicle mobile application.

The benefits of AMCS technology are numerous. Driver efficiency is increased, as the additional guidance allows new drivers to learn a route from day one and removes the need for double manning of vehicles, while route optimisation reduces fuel usage and emissions as the likelihood of unnecessary miles from driver errors are decreased.

Safety is improved as drivers receive voice instructions from the software, allowing them to remain fully focused on the road, while being made aware of potential hazards.

Customer service is also boosted as the system has been proven to significantly reduce missed bin lifts. This improves the customer experience and saves the operators money – each missed bin lift can cost around €45.

The system has been implemented by some of the biggest players in the resources and waste sector. Veolia Germany has trialled the software and has recorded route time savings of approximately 10-15 per cent with inexperienced drivers. And this is not just a system loved by managers, but the drivers too, with the majority stating they wished this feature had been available to them sooner.

At AMCS, we are committed to helping forward-thinking local authorities and waste management companies prepare their services for the future with innovative technology and best-practice processes.

The municipal waste section on the AMCS website contains a wealth of resources for local authorities and waste management companies keen to understand what we do, including a series of videos explaining how AMCS can help optimise municipal waste collections.

AMCS will be holding a webinar on 3 June on how state of-the-art technologies can support drivers on the job.

AMCS’ product managers Ken Tierney and Rogier de Klein will explain how the AMCS Mobile Workforce platform provides constant and up-to-date customer, route and vehicle information through the real-time exchange of data. The AMCS in-cab mobile device provides actual route information to mitigate operational risk and prevent extra costs for missed collections.

You can sign up to the AMCS webinar ‘How AMCS Mobile Workforce supports drivers on their job and help you reduce costs’ on the company’s website.

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