Norwegian Trash Collector Uses RFID to Clean Up Its Operations
The firm is employing AMCS Group's radio frequency identification solution to track each truck's pickup routes, ensure accounts are paid before trash bins are dumped, and know when a bin may contain the wrong sorts of items.
Avfall Sør Husholdning reports that it has attached tags to 90,000 bins to date, with most households using three bins: one dedicated to organic waste, another for recycling and one for trash. Each time a bin is raised by the lifters of the 17 trucks used on the waste-management routes, its tag is interrogated, explains Frode Rosland, Avfall Sør Husholdning's head of waste management. Avfall Sør stores information in the AMCS software, he says, and shares the pickup data with the city of Kristiansand.
Avfall Sør utilizes AMCS-based data not only to track each vehicle's efficiency, but also to receive alerts if a problem occurs involving a bin. For example, if a bin appears to be damaged, drivers input that observation into the AMCS system while the bin's contents are being dumped. The company also uses the RFID-based data to determine billing for each customer, based on the number of times his or her bins were emptied.
Since opening its business in 2003, Martin says, AMCS "really started looking at the benefits of using RFID technology when tracking waste consumption," which first led to a one-year pilot. Since then, the technology has been widely deployed by AMCS across Ireland, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, France and the United States. For its U.S. customers, Martin adds, "the big drive is around encouraging recycling and rewarding individuals" who recycle regularly. In this case, each bin's pickup weight is stored in the software, helping the company to determine the extent to which residents at each address are recycling, as opposed to discarding other types of refuse in the bin.
This year, some of AMCS' customers are now using the supplied data to determine which customers may be placing the wrong type of rubbish into the bins, based on each bin's weight at pickup time. Weights inconsistent with the company's expectations are stored and flagged in the software, and operators can be warned to visually check the contents as the bins are being dumped.
Although most European customers are using LF tags, AMCS provides UHF solutions in the United States. That, Martin says, is because waste-management vehicles and bins in this country are less standardized—and, in some cases, there may be a longer distance between the tag and a reader on the lifter, which can vary from one municipality or company to another. However, he adds, UHF technology does not transmit as reliably as LF tags in the presence of metal.
Login and post your comment!
Not a member?
Signup for an account now to access all of the features of RFIDJournal.com!
SEND IT YOUR WAY
RFID JOURNAL EVENTS
ASK THE EXPERTS
Simply enter a question for our experts.