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In Illinois, RFID Makes It Easier for Residents to Pay as They Throw

Lakeshore Recycling Systems is using EPC Gen 2 tags and readers to track usage of the waste-collection services it provides to the cities of Wheaton and Highland Park.
By Claire Swedberg

The RFID system currently provides LRS with a competitive edge. "The solid-waste industry is not short on strong haulers--large and small, and Chicago is no exception," says Kenney. "You have to be able to offer strong value propositions in order to gain market share." With RFID, he says, the company is able to offer municipalities, and by extension their residents, a better way to pay for waste and recycling service.

"There's was no inherent benefit for us as a company to implement the RFID concept, other than it helps us track and manage our assets a bit more," he says.

Lakeshore Recycling Systems' Bill Kenney
Since the Highland Park system went live on Aug. 1, Garard indicates the city has had a smooth transition. "Residents seem very happy with the change thus far," she says. Every resident has a cart with RFID technology, even if they are not using the volume-based service. "If a resident calls Lakeshore Recycling Systems, they can easily switch their service to volume-based and, depending on the amount of solid waste that they generate, they could save money."

Kenney adds that "Highland Park is a well-respected and high-profile municipality in Chicagoland, so when it made the decision to partner with LRS as its hauler, word spread quickly to other municipalities in search of a better mouse trap--if you will."

Wheaton, like Highland Park, has been using a sticker-based PAYT system, but starting Oct. 1, it will transition to Lakeshore Recycling Systems' RFID-based bin-tracking service. The city has between 14,000 and 15,000 homes. "Our bin count is fluid, Kenney says. "We always bring in more than is forecasted as a cautionary measure."

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