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Toter Dumps Wasted Time With RFID-Tagged Bins

The company's RFID-based ToterTrax system, which can automatically record when and where its workers deliver each waste bin, opens up a range of other possible uses.
By Claire Swedberg

Therefore, as the first of multiple phases aimed at automating bin management in the field for its customers, Toter is offering its own A&D system, by which it delivers new bins to residences or businesses, using a handheld RFID reader to create a record of every bin ID. "We developed the technology to collect data and present it back to the hauler," DiFoggio states.

With the new ToterTrax system, as the carts are manufactured, a Squiggle tag is embedded in each cart, and ToterTrax software enables an RFID reader to not only read the unique ID number encoded to that tag, but also write the cart's serial number into the tag's memory. The serial number and the Electronic Product Code (EPC) number are then stored together in the software.

Toter's Nick DiFoggio
Toter delivers bins to a customer—or, if requested, to the residences or places of business served by that municipality or private hauling service. Delivery workers load the carts onto the back of a truck, and carry a handheld UHF RFID reader that communicates, via a Bluetooth connection, with a rugged tablet that runs the ToterTrax proprietary app, listing all addresses where bins need to be dropped off.

The delivery workers stop at each location, open the app and select the appropriate address. They then use the handheld to capture the tag's ID number and the bin's serial number, also written to that tag. That information is forwarded to the cloud-based server via a cellular connection. Not only does the tablet send the RFID read data linked to the address, but the GPS coordinates are stored with that address as well, enabling Toter's customer to know the bin's exact location.

The customer's employees—managers of the hauling service for which the bins are being delivered, for instance—can then sign into the hosted server and view up-to-date information regarding which bin has been delivered to what address. According to DiFoggio, the company uses a variety of off-the-shelf RFID readers.

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