How Rotterdam cut trash collection costs — and boosted recycling

Wed, 2016-05-25 06:00 -- Doug Peeples

The Dutch city of Rotterdam's greater metro area has a population of about 1.4 million. And that many people are going to generate a lot of trash. Considering that waste management can typically take an 8% to 10% bite out of a city's operating budget, solutions capable of increasing efficiency while reducing that bite are certainly worth a look. For Council Associate Partner Enevo, the solution involves wireless sensors that monitor fill levels in trash receptacles. But it also includes route planning software that determines when and where the trash collection trucks need to go, and that means fewer truck rolls.
The release below describes some of the benefits, but it neglects to mention at least three others. First, fewer truck rolls means less air pollution. Second, it means less damage to roadways. Third, it means less congestion from drivers trapped behind trucks as they load. -- Doug Peeples

Rotterdam City Increases Use of IoT for Waste Management Efficiency

Use of Enevo waste management data analytics and dynamic route planning is being extended as the Netherland’s second largest city grows its position in the circular economy

Espoo, Finland, May 18, 2016: The municipality of Rotterdam is to introduce the second phase of a Paper and Cardboard Waste Fractions project with Enevo, the leading innovator in smart waste management and its Dutch partner TWS. The project extension will double the number of monitored waste containers and increase the use of Enevo Smart Plan software for optimised collection route planning to 40% of the underground paper and card waste containers in the city.

Initially deployed as a proof of concept to demonstrate the effectiveness of Enevo technology, the municipality of Rotterdam also enlisted the expertise of its waste collection team to optimise Enevo Smart Plan route planning software for use in the City. At the same time, Rotterdam set a target for Enevo to increase the efficiency of collections by 20 percent – a goal that was in fact easily surpassed.

Joost van Maaren, Head of Collection and Reuse of Waste at the municipality of Rotterdam, outlined the project: “We are delighted to be increasing the use of this system. The technology to monitor fill-levels in waste containers is well understood, however, key to our requirements was a dynamic route planning system. Enevo offers one of the only systems that reliably offers both capabilities. This essential development is helping us to eliminate static collection routes and bring a focus on only emptying containers which need servicing. During the pilot our working group, together with Enevo and TWS, have developed a system which meets Rotterdam’s requirements to achieve a highly effective and efficient waste collection system.”

Charbel Aoun, Enevo Chief of Sales and Strategy, said: “The results of the pilot in Rotterdam shows conclusively that Enevo’s IoT technology and analytics can help uncover new levels of efficiency in the hands of a committed and expert team. Just as 60 other global cities have already found working in partnership with Enevo, Rotterdam has been able to do more with less. Not only is predictive waste management system an effective way to reduce the cost of waste handling, it can also help to incentivise reuse and recycling, and build the circular economy. We are very pleased to be on that journey with the municipality of Rotterdam.”

The Enevo waste management solution brings together waste container monitoring, data analytics and fill-level forecasting, dynamic route planning and driver route guidance via in-cab tablet computers. Enevo wireless sensors monitor the fill level of the waste containers, transmitting the information to the company’s cloud servers. This data is combined with historical project information to generate trends which the system analyses to generate the most efficient collection routes, based on fill level criteria, on a daily basis. These routes are directly communicated via the Enevo cloud service to provide that day’s collection route.

Phase two of the Paper and Cardboard collection and recycling project was implemented during April 2016 and is anticipated to provide increased levels of data and on-route understanding for analysis, allowing well defined criteria to develop the project further towards its goals.

Related articles…
6 cities that are fighting trash with technology (and winning!)
Why waste management is changing -- and why you should be happy about it
The end of garbage? Join the next wave of waste management

Doug Peeples is a Portland, Oregon-based writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.