To save transportation time and cost, smart route optimisation for recyclable collection vehicles is an essential step. We will lead the recycling industry to apply technology to enhance collection vehicles with smart technologies to allow for route optimization. A Mobile App will be installed on the drivers’ mobile phone for the collection job created and dispatch to driver.
The System vendor shall design and establish a central fleet management application for the communication and control of collection vehicles. The central fleet management application acts as a brain that monitors the real-time information delivered by the smart technologies, including the location, used capacity of and weight collected by all vehicles. To enhance the brain of the central fleet management application that monitors the real-time location and data of each truck during promotion stage of system, we may seek generators’ help on providing real-time data by phone apps.
The system provide a map including suggested collection route and actual collection route of each driver for management‘s easy comparison. Over time with all data and user behaviour collected, the next phase of the project will bring an expert route optimization system capable of planning best routes on a daily, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, and responding to sudden events quick and smart with the aid of a communication platform. The system can summarise the collection data from each generator to for easy analysis on the data by the headquarter staff. The system enables the collector to trace collection record with a systematic program to prevent negligence on data.
With the use of fill level sensors in the traditional recycling bins / metal cages, it can generate timely alerts for recyclables collection when the smart recycling bins / metal cages are nearly full. Fill level % of each bank can be monitored that it can also help the collectors to find out any abnormal drop of fill rate in case thefts have stolen recyclables inside the bins / metal cages. Besides, the wireless sensors will transmit fill level data from smart recycling bins / metal cages to a cloud based analytics platform which then generates accurate forecasts for ideal pick-up schedules and route suggestions. It can provide information for better collection routes based on reported fill levels for collector’s planning. In addition, regular analysis reports showing performance statistics e.g. average fill time, average fill rate, day’s bin / cage full, etc. over the period requested can be issued by the route optimization trial that the collector can have better forecast for expansion of bins / cages in the long run. Moreover, comparison of suggested collection routes by the system and actual collection routes taken by the collectors can be shown in the software for real time tracking performance of collectors. At least 3 collectors with around 12 sites for trial of the above system will be recruited.
A real-time route optimization
Most collectors would weigh all recyclables from different collection sites at the collectors’ recycling yards instead of at each collection site. Then the collectors would need to transfer their handwriting weighing data to excel or word file for issuance of invoices. Some property management companies wondered whether the collectors had weighed the recyclables at their own recycling yards or the collectors just evenly distributed the weighing data to all collection sites. Accurate weighing data of each collection site is important especially when MSW charging scheme is going to be implemented, the industry would like to adopt an automatic monitoring system to minimize errors of weighting data.
The use of Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) systems, Bluetooth weighing scales and scanners can facilitate the recyclables collection process and enhance the track record of recyclables quantity of each collection site. When empty cages are passed through the entrance of residential site, the vertical scanners installed at that entrance would automatically add the RFID code to those empty cages. When collectors collect those cages with recyclables and use the Bluetooth weighing scales to record the quantity of recyclables. All information (e.g. details of each collection site, quantities of paper, plastic and aluminum cans, etc.) of recyclables quantity of each collection site would be transferred to the online drive simultaneously. Daily and monthly collection statistic would then be summarized and generated for each collection site. This automatic smart weighing system can help minimize errors of weighting data of each collection site. At least 1collector with around 2 collection sites for trial of the above smart weighting trial will be recruited.
Moreover, at least 1 collector would join the two trials i.e. route optimization trial in around 4 collection sites and smart weighing trial in around 2 collection sites.
In the meantime, the platform is also equipped a billing function to assist the collector to prepare the billing documents, such as invoice, statement of account, etc. The billing function will be very useful for collectors and their customers as it is able to minimize the operation cost and weighting data’s calculation error occurred.
- Route optimization trial
- Route Path shows real time traffic condition in the mobile app and find the optimized route for daily collection works
- Management of the recycling companies can know the working status of their worker via mobile app e.g. Actual arrival time and leave time of each collection site compared with the target time, actual location of the worker at any time.
- Management of the recycling companies can know the usage status of their trucks e.g driving time, traveling mileage, etc.
- The daily operation workflow can be streamlined through process automation and mobile communications. The management can allocate collection jobs to its workers through the network and workers receive jobs and other information by mobile devices.
- Use of fill level sensors in the route optimization trial
- Achieve prompt clearance of the recycling bins / metal cages to maintain environmental hygiene and prevent overflow problems;
- Increase capacity of the recycling bins / metal cages in rapid fill areas;
- Achieve better planning of recyclables collection route based on fill level of each recycling bin / metal cage, traffic situation, etc. that it can reduce collection times and transportation costs;
- Export historical data e.g. fill level of each recycling bins / metal cages over the period requested.
- Smart weighing trial
- Provide automatic record of the quantity of paper, plastic and aluminum cans waste collected from each site and all data would be transferred to online drive simultaneously for record. Aims to:
- enhance the collection operation effectiveness and operation cost saving e.g. achieve better planning of recyclables collection route that it can reduce collection times and transportation costs;
- Strengthen the management effectiveness by exporting historical data e.g. usage status and travelling mileages of each truck, actual arrival time and leave time of each collection site over the period requested;
- Enhance the communication effectiveness by using the real time tracking of which collection jobs have been completed by which collectors.
- Achieve prompt clearance of the recycling bins / metal cages to maintain environmental.
“Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material/ event do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Advisory Committee on Recycling Fund or the Recycling Fund Secretariat.
Copyright © 2021 Smart City Consortium (SCC) All Rights Reserved.