RFID Talk Blog

Cincinnati saves nearly $1M from RFID-enabled recycling program

Ohio is becoming a hotbed for RFID-driven waste management best practices. In Cincinnati, an RFID-based recycling solution has saved the city nearly $1 million in labor and waste disposal costs over the past two years.

In October, Dayton, Ohio city officials said they expect to save $100,000 a year from a similar solution. With municipalities facing tight budgets around the country, those are meaningful numbers.

An RFID tag affixed to a recycling cart in Cincinnati.

The RFID-based recycling system has increased citizen recycling participation from 40 percent to 79% in Cincinnati, to 18,000 tons. Recycling volumes have increased by 49 percent between 2009 and 2011.

Technology from UPM RFID and Cascade Engineering have helped Cincinnati to turn trash into cash by using RFID to optimize critical waste management processes. Cities around the country continue to combat growing waste volumes by motivating citizen behavioral change with incentive-based recycling programs and pay-as-you-throw pricing, all made possible through RFID.

Cascade Engineering’s RFID system for the waste management industry consists of three components: two-wheeled recycling and trash containers mounted with RFID xtreme tags™ from Xtreme RFID, an on-board truck data collection system with RFID readers and antennas from Capturit™ mounted in the hopper and an industrial PC with optional screen and GPS and GSM transceiver placed in the cab, and back office software.

The RFID system is built to withstand heavy usage. The company’s xtreme tags™, which are powered by UPM ShortDipole™ high performance UHF inlays from UPM RFID, snap securely in place below trash cart lids, are guaranteed to last 10 years and perform in extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

When sanitation crews collect consumers’ garbage and recycling, the truck’s RFID readers and antennas capture tag data, recording the time and GPS coordinates as well as weight of the pickup. Meanwhile, drivers can record missed pickups using the onboard computer. That information can be used to automate data collection and billing, while also providing municipalities with powerful insights they can use to enhance service, from answering customer queries about pickups to fine-tuning driving routes.

The same system being used in Cincinnati is now being rolled out to 60,000 residents in Grand Rapids, Mich. By using RFID, the city will implement usage-based pricing and use GPS and RFID data to plan sanitation crew driving routes for optimal operational and fuel efficiency.

Click here to read the blog post on the system being used in Dayton, Ohio.

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