How telematics can increase visibility and accountability in the waste industry

July 07, 2021

 In an industry where messy disputes are common, increasing visibility and accountability is critical. Fleet management technology for waste management and recycling services not only does this but also offers organizations a new level of operational efficiency. Proof of service and routing are made simpler, and new camera technology boosts this, while increasing safety levels for drivers and other road users at the same time.


Proof of service

One of the most common issues that haulers have is proving whether they did their work – that all of the carts were collected. Using telematics, this service verification can be achieved in a number of ways. Firstly, GPS tracking can be used to verify that trucks have completed their routes. Easily see on screen where your trucks have been and that they have completed the correct routes. This can then be combined with more granular tracking to provide a more detailed picture.

One way to do this is the monitoring of service events. Monitoring lift-arm events using a lift-arm sensor and geolocation data allows you to see that your trucks are stopping at the correct locations and collecting their carts. Motion start/stop information can also be used to further enhance this.

Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags provides a very accurate method of service verification. These are tags that emit a low power radio signal and can be attached to carts and bins to uniquely identify them. When these are attached to a cart, and that cart is then collected by a truck with an onboard RFID reader, proof of service is verified. Time, location, and number of times a cart has been collected are also recorded giving you rich data that you can use for various business decisions going forward.

Cameras can also be used for proof of service verification. Cameras not only record carts being collected but can also be used for identifying sources of contamination in recycling. This means that when prohibited or contaminated items are collected, such as plastic bags within recycling, they can be identified, along with the cart that they came from. This is particularly important in the recycling industry where large fines and penalties handed are becoming more common for contaminated collections. Cameras also provide proof of blocked carts, helping to resolve any potential disputes.


Smart routing

Smart electronic routing that can be seen by drivers on their in-cab tablets ensures that drivers maximize their time, picking up as many carts as possible. It also reduces the chance of missing any carts, and increases efficiencies with fuel usage. Dispatchers can also see in real time where their trucks are, and when routes are completed. You can measure your planned routes compared to actual performance and see where efficiencies can be improved.

This data can then be overlayed with data from RFID tags and shared with clients to show them that the correct routes are being taken, and that all carts are being collected in efficient time.


On-board dashcams

As well as being used for exception recording, cameras (dashcams) can also be used in-cab for safety purposes. Dashcams provide forward facing footage out of a truck’s windscreen, essentially the same as what the driver is seeing. These recordings are essential for preventing fraudulent claims against your company and provide an easy solution for any incident that requires a resolution. As an option, cameras can be set to record only when triggered by harsh events, which is useful for exonerating drivers in cases of defensive driving.

Dashcams can also be used for driver coaching, identifying areas where drivers can improve and providing a platform for managers to do virtual ride-a-longs in real time. The remote nature of this allows managers to coach multiple drivers in a short space of time so all your drivers get the same level of attention, and receive the same high level of training.

To find out more about the Coretex waste solution, take a look here.