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Routeware Launches RFID Solution for Waste Haulers

The system employs low-frequency RFID interrogators on trash-collection trucks to identify tagged waste and recycling containers, as well as track the recycling efforts of the residents they serve.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Based in Beaverton, Ore., Routeware has customers across the United States, including Washington, Texas and California. These firms range in size from small hauling companies to large municipal waste contractors. Routeware customers interested in tracking the Dumpsters or other metal containers they routinely transport to places such as construction sites can mount the TI reader on the trucks used to haul the containers, and affix a tag onto each container.

Whether tracking these containers, or plastic recycling or waste bins, Routeware software running on the truck's onboard Routeware DMS 5000 computer collects the tag data from the TI interrogator and transmits this information, via a cellular data transmission, to Routeware BackOffice—Web-based back-end software that amasses data from all collection trucks on a particular route, and also transmits route information and directions to truck drivers through the DMS computer. If a Routeware customer so chooses, it can then pull that data from BackOffice to its in-house route-tracking or billing applications.

Routeware and Texas Instruments will demonstrate the solution at the Waste Expo trade show in Chicago, being held May 6 to 8. According to Arib, Routeware initially intends to target the solution to its customers interested in tracking such assets as containers for construction debris. However, he says, the company is also eager to help its customers deploy the RFID technology as part of their residential recycling tracking efforts.

Rafael Mena, business development and applications engineering manager of asset tracking for Texas Instruments RFID Systems, says waste-management companies in Europe have employed its LF tags and readers for waste tracking applications for more than 10 years.

A startup company known as RecycleBank also utilizes the TI tags for tracking and weighing the recycling bins of tens of thousands of consumers in numerous Eastern states (see RFID Helps Reward Consumers for Recycling). And a suburb of Athens, Greece, is using an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive RFID system to track garbage collection (see Greek RFID Pilot Collects Garbage).

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