Sustainability and Technology

Software improves cart management for waste industry

System can be adapted to track residential recycling, too.

July 18, 2014
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Cascade Cart Solutions, a Cascade Engineering company, introduced new web-based, cloud-managed software this past spring to improve tracking, maintaining and reporting on cart fleets for the waste industry.

CartLogic uses radio frequency identification technology, GPS systems and cloud computing to manage residential rollout, cart maintenance and location information.

“It’s asset management software built specifically for the waste industry,” said Mark Harvey, director of technology and asset management at Cascade. “Our tagline is ‘asset management software built for the waste industry by the waste industry.’”

CartLogic was developed to meet one of the waste industry’s biggest challenges: “The ability to locate cart assets and accurately track the service history of those carts between staff in the field and operations in the back office.”

Prior to software management solutions like CartLogic, waste haulers would record data using pen and paper and then enter that information onto spreadsheets.

“Today, it is estimated there are nearly 120 million residential waste and recycling carts at curbs throughout North America,” Harvey said. “As a hauler or municipal solid waste department, whether you call yours garbage cans, trash bins or collection containers, that’s a lot of assets to manage, especially through paper-based spreadsheets and systems. Now, more than ever, the accuracy and accessibility of your database will be key to maintaining customer accounts and positive revenue growth.”

Each time a delivery, swap, repair or removal is made, the cart’s RFID tag is scanned and the type of service provided is entered, generating a service history log for each cart. This information synchronizes with CartLogic’s cloud-based platform, securely storing all cart inventory data online.

“It allows our customer base to scan, service and sustain their cart fleet, which can go across trash, recycling, organics, yard waste — all those assets,” Harvey said.

CartLogic provides the ability to track carts from manufacture to assembly and delivery by assigning each asset to a specific customer location (address and geo-location), and then managing the useful life of the entire cart fleet during swaps, drops, repairs and removals.

In addition, haulers and municipalities can associate specific costs with types of services rendered to track the lifecycle cost of their carts.

“A hauler of ours that is now using this is buying about 50 percent less replacement containers, because they are managing their assets better,” Harvey said. “To put a value on that, it’s probably saving them a minimum of $25,000 a year.”

CartLogic also can be used to improve recycling by residents.

“If the trucks are equipped with readers, we can look at participation rates and we can do target marketing to folks to eliminate the recycled content from going into the trash,” Harvey said.

CartLogic can be accessed using any Internet-enabled device and employees can access it simultaneously.

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