Cloud-based tool helps North Carolina city reduce recycling contamination
In 2015, recycling contamination issues reached a tipping point in Greensboro, N.C. The city is home to one of the country’s first single-stream automated recycling programs. In fact, an audit by ReCommunity, the city’s long-time recycling partner, found that Greensboro’s single field inspector was only able to inspect 5 percent of all 80,000 households’ recycling. The residential contamination rate was 20 percent — double the industry average.
To help combat contamination issues at the source, ReCommunity proposed implementing a mobile work order solution called Mobile311 from Dude Solutions’ FacilityDude.
Mobile311 uses GPS technology with client-specific GIS data, including local addresses, routes, neighborhoods, etc., and a customizable app interface to collect field data. The city outfitted each of its eight recycling trucks with a tablet loaded with the customized Mobile311 app.
Recycling truck operators consistently look at the on-board hopper camera while emptying containers, as it is the easiest way to ensure cleanliness, safety and fully emptied containers.
“Now, when a driver sees a contaminated recycling load, he or she can tap a button on the app and Mobile311 creates a data point and work order,” says Chris Marriott, Greensboro’s deputy director of field operations, “The data is uploaded instantly to the cloud where it is accessible via FacilityDude’s Mobile311 website.”
The recycling program manager can then appropriately target educational materials distribution and track where repeat offenders are to ensure corrective actions.
The implementation is expected to increase Greensboro’s household recycling inspections to nearly 100 percent, and has already reduced contamination issues by 10 percent. “Ultimately, lower recycling contamination from items ranging from textiles, hoses, scrap metal, opaque bags, yard waste, electronics, hazardous waste and food, among others, allows the city to recoup more recycling value,” Marriott says.
Less contamination helps reduce operating costs, and helps ensure a safer work environment at the recycling plant. It also holds residents accountable, in a way that increases fairness to all taxpayers.
Click here to learn more about Dude Solutions.