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Bloomington Embracing Smart Truck Technology for Solid Waste Collection

Post Date:06/10/2019 3:15 PM

Bloomington, IL – Solid waste collection crews in the City of Bloomington Public Works Department are using new technology on their trucks to more easily track pickup and routing for garbage and recycle collection. The City contracted with Routeware, Inc., to work with staff to install the software, on-board computers, cameras, and sensors to convert current solid waste trucks into “smart trucks.” These pieces of technology take photos and videos of each stop to determine whether a pickup occurred, show any issues with a particular stop, show each truck’s position and exact route, and find ways to optimize routes.

The technology improves the customer experience, and it helps crews and management. Although program users are required to set out their trash or recycling by 6:00 a.m. on their collection day, drivers will run routes in the same order every week for garbage and every other week for recycle, in order to keep a consistent schedule. Staff will be able to send work orders and messages directly to drivers, and management will be able to make sure the routes have enough crew members.

Routeware software and hardware will also increase route and billing efficiency and effectiveness, leading to savings within the Solid Waste Fund. This effort is a result of the Department’s overall effort to eliminate subsidies from the General Fund to the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, which helps the fund remain sustainable. Staff is working to discover additional ways the software and hardware can be helpful to the Solid Waste Program in the future.

The Solid Waste Section of the City of Bloomington Public Works Department administers the Solid Waste Program, which provides a wide variety of services, including: collecting garbage, recycle, bulk waste, and brush; operating the Citizen Convenience Center so that residents can dispose of appliances, bulk waste, and grass; clearing brush, weeds, and tree limbs from alleys; cleaning medians and alleys; repairing gravel alleys; street sweeping; and overseeing the implementation of the Materials Recovery and Resource Management Plan.

For more information, call Jim Karch, Director of Public Works, at 309-434-2225 or email publicworks@cityblm.org.

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