With the (unfortunate) growth of the waste management industry, plus consistent calls for developed countries to consider their environmental duties with more seriousness, it appears as if the time is right for entities, corporations, and civic bodies to be more elaborate with their efforts to better segregate and compartmentalize their waste management plans. As is always the case, technological advancement is at the forefront of empowering industries with the necessary tools to bring about these changes. Certain municipal waste departments in developed countries, including Canada, have already begun implementing RFID tagging alongside GPS tracking to monitor the recycling patterns of their residents. And, that’s simply one of the many uses of implementing RFID technology in waste management. In this post, we’ll take you through the means to get closer to achieving the ultimate goal of a cleaner planet.
What Was: Pay-as-You-Throw Waste Collection Program
RFID technology in previous years, when the technology remained fairly expensive, was considered as the greatest tool we possessed in order to do justice to the pay-as-you-throw waste collection programs. The premise of the program was fairly simple in its conceptualization. The RFID tags attached to the recycling containers kept track of its fullness, and when it was deemed full, the designated hauler was alerted to deploy a vehicle to transfer the waste. Now that time has passed, we have explored the possibility of implementing RFID technology to further aid the authorities with elaborate waste management plans.
What Is: An Elaborate Waste Collection Plan
With the passage of time, we have managed to find manners to better implement the technology and handle additional functions, beyond simply tracking the fullness of the containers. Now, RFID tagging has enabled us to track and monitor several aspects of waste collection. There is now the provision to assess waste collection progress on common routes, which includes the ongoing progress on a specific route, details about any missed stops along the route, the prevailing condition of the waste-collection vehicle, and the overall accuracy (and performance) of the driver. The real-time availability of practical data makes it possible for the authorities to be proactive about the functionality of their operations and bring in necessary adjustments based on their predetermined goals.
Joshua Connell, the managing partner for an Illinois-based Recycling system further stressed about the limitless possibilities of RFID tagging when he said “RFID is a great inventory tool. It also provides us with service verification and productivity data. It’s my opinion that it may be used more to verify service and track inventory. The consumer will have to drive the use more in regards to pay-as-you-throw programs”. Connell was referring to the immense potential of asset-tracking management as part of a greater waste management system that is heralded by the use of RFID technology.
What Can Be: Challenges Facing the Technology
While there are no challenges that the waste management industry faces regarding the functionality of RFID technology, there is still the issue of addressing unusual needs that are simply assumed to be a part of the greater framework of the system. One such need that waste management service providers have struggled to address remains the payment system. Today, we have multiple types of billing and payment systems currently in use. And thus, the technical departments of certain entities may initially assume that the RFID tracking systems are naturally compatible with a variety of billing software that are popularly used today. Joshua Connell addressed this concern when he said “The system works best when all residents receive and pay for services electronically. I compare it to a toll way system in which customers would have a small prepaid balance and funds are deducted from their account when services are provided. If you have to mail paper invoices monthly and process payments by hand, the program doesn’t work well.”
This, however, should not be considered a long-term cause of concern. Going by recent history, where we have successfully introduced and implemented several forms of payment collection methods to add convenience to our daily lives, it shouldn’t be long before most waste collection programs work in conjunction with online payment service providers to add convenience.
What Next: To Conclude
Despite the challenges, RFID technology seems like the best tool to help us create a reliable system that can achieve our collective waste management goals. The RFID-tagged containers bear the brunt of rough weather conditions: snow, rain, and heat. Not to mention the rough handling these containers have to undergo by humans and machines alike. Only RFID tags can withstand such constant abuse while still retaining its functionality for as long as these containers remain in proper working condition. We also have to factor in the increasing affordability of RFID technology. With growing demand across industries, RFID tagging is now seen as a guilt-free investment any entity can freely make without greatly burdening its cash flow.
The popularity of the technology has grown to such an extent that private waste collection services have begun using the data collected through RFID tagging as a means to display the accuracy and professionalism of their services as a ‘visiting card’, which helps them win contracts from private and public-owned entities. This simply goes to show that RFID-powered waste management schemes are here to stay. If you want to learn more about the logistics surrounding implementing RFID technology, feel free to contact us at Jet Marking Systems. Our experts will be more than happy to understand the nature of your operations and present you with practical solutions to make them efficient.