Sector: Trash & Recycling
Today’s entry in the RFID $1M-a-Day Challenge comes from the trash sector, where recycling efforts in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio have combined to save over $1 million.
Cincinnati’s RFID-based recycling solution has saved the city nearly $1 million in labor and waste disposal costs over the past two years, while city officials in Dayton, expect to save $100,000 a year from a similar solution. With municipalities facing tight budgets around the country, those are meaningful numbers.
Here’s why RFID-enabled recycling efforts are such an exciting use case. If a city the size of Cincinnati — with a population of about 335,000 — can save nearly $1 million in just two years, imagine the savings that larger cities can leverage by getting more residents to recycle.
There are 50 or so cities in the U.S. with a larger population base than Cincinnati, and it stands to reason that they all could save much more based on their population. For example, if Cincinnati saved $1 million, New York, based on its population of more than eight million, stands to save nearly $25 million. The largest cities in the U.S. could save hundreds of millions, which could then be re-directed to city services that have seen severe budget cuts.
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.