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Solid Waste Routing – Improving Efficiency in Solid Waste Collection Part 1


Here is the first excerpt of my paper on Solid Waste Routing.  I will have several parts to this…

In today’s struggling economy we are all forced to look at ways to reduce expenses. This applies to Private and Public operations equally. For the Private operation, it is all about making a profit and not losing money. This is difficult due to the competitiveness of the industry. Raising rates can often open the door for a competitor to move in as well as being met with high resistance from customers. For the Public operation, it is all about staying within the dwindling budget. It is quite difficult to get approval for a rate increase on even more difficult to get an increase in budget.

Basic business rules state that to increase profit margin, one must either increase revenue or decrease expenses.

Many strategies or techniques exist for improving solid waste collection. Any of these, if applied, stands to cut expenses and improve efficiency. These strategies can range from simple operational changes to more extreme collection day changes. Many of these strategies are common sense and can be used for most types of routing. With advancements in technologies there are now many options to choose from for computerized routing.

As collection costs make up between 40 and 60 percent of the total solid waste management system costs, this area is generally where the biggest savings can occur.

This article will be broke down into two separate areas for improving efficiency:

  • Route Optimization
  • Operational Changes

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