Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. In the waste and recycling industry, RFID tags are placed on carts to track those assets in the field.
In 2005, the U.S. solid waste industry began using the technology similar to a pay-as-you-throw program. Picking up steam since then, RFID is now used to detect fill levels of all types of containers to optimize pickups and bill for residential hauling services. This data also can be used to plan pickup schedules and make routes more efficient.
Here are some companies that provide route optimization software to the waste and recycling industry.
Based in Ireland with offices in the U.S., the AMCS Group provides its Vehicle Technology solution, a vehicle data hub that utilizes RFID to improve the validating, monitoring and optimizing of waste collections. The hub reads RFID tags and collects vehicle data. It consists of a single unit with integrated GPRS, GPS and Wi-Fi. In addition to RFID reading, it handles I/O (input/output) signals and CAN-bus data. This modular system is available in a variety of configurations.
Cascade Cart Solutions
For Cascade Cart Solutions, a Cascade Engineering company, rugged Xtreme Tag RFID tags come standard on every cart. Years ago, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company received a request to create an RFID tag for two-wheeled residential recycling containers. By learning the application, testing designs and developing a tag to meet the stringent requirements of the municipal solid waste industry, the company created its CartLogic asset management software. By taking advantage of RFID technology, CartLogic empowers full control and responsive service from the convenience of a web-based portal and free mobile app.
Lakeshore Recycling Systems
Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) in Morton Grove, Ill., is the first privately-held waste and recycling company to implement RFID technology into its business practices in 2015. The company incorporated RFID technology into its pay-as-you-throw waste disposal program in Highland Park, where residents were charged based on how much waste they dispose. This type of RFID technology now allows LRS to track and bill customers according to when their waste is collected using an RFID tag that is embedded in their waste containers.
Rehrig Pacific Co.
Los Angeles-based Rehrig Pacific’s vision software is an application for tracking assets in real time that gives users multilevel visibility that will help reduce operating costs, increase sales and preserve capital. It also can integrate with a company’s existing technology. The application manages all industrial container asset transactions through a mobile and desktop application. The solution encompasses dispatching that automates the process for assigning assets to billable accounts, adjusting inventory availability (in yard), locations and closing out service requests. It also monitors the service activity of all assets including residential, commercial and/or industrial roll-out carts and containers when collected by trucks to include date and time of service, container ID, location, container movement and participation in programs along with exception reporting.
SSI Schaefer in Charlotte, N.C., provides its WISTAR solution, an end-to-end software solution for managing all waste assets and operations. WISTAR combines both manufacturing strength along with RFID and QR code technology, which enables asset monitoring. RFID technology is embedded inside the cart handle to ensure tamper- and weather-proof durability. WISTAR technology successfully manages more than 2.5 million waste and recycling carts throughout the U.S. and Canada with a 99.99 percent RFID and GPS cart deployment accuracy rate.
Toter’s cart delivery and tracking solution, ToterTrax, gives users the power to track their carts in real time through its RFID tracking technology. Designed specifically for waste and recycling assembly and delivery projects, ToterTrax provides control of waste assets from a web portal. Cart delivery is verified through a GPS and timestamping system and instantly sends data to the portal in real time. The RFID technology offers visibility of delivery, current status, geo-coordinates and timestamp data. A unique RFID tag number with matching serial number is assigned for accuracy. Toter, a member of the Wastequip family, is based in Statesville, N.C.