RFID technology provides non line of sight identification and has a high data transmission rate. RFID tags are available in many form factors and can withstand harsh environments. They can have storage for up to 32 Mb and can retain data for many years. They provide reasonable security mechanism and can be disabled (using KILL command) to address privacy concerns.
RFID is a technology often seen as a descendant of the barcode and is becoming increasingly prevalent as the price of the technology decreases. Recent developments include increased read ranges and accuracy, better anti-collision techniques, and increased performance in demanding and non-ideal environments.
In the Waste Management and Recycling context, the RFID technology is being used globally in hundreds of municipalities since 2005. In North America alone, many municipalities either have deployed RFID based waste management system or are conducting pilot projects using the technology. A large deployment of RFID technology in the US is the Recyclebank rewards program. According to RecycleBank, over 300 communities in 50 US states are participating in the program.
As part of the Recycle Bank program, each household receives a large 95-gallon wheeled recycling cart equipped with an RFID tag. Participants simply place all recyclables (no sorting required) in the cart. Recycle trucks are equipped to read the RFID tag, weigh the recyclables and transmit the information to a personal RecycleBank.com Account, where Recycle Bank reward Points are “banked” and can be redeemed.
From examining various facts and considering the global deployment of RFID technology within this Industry, it is evident that this technology is currently the most suited and preferred technology for the waste management industry. For the majority of deployments the business drivers for an automated RFID based waste management are:
- Gain real time visibility of collections
- Work Order Management
- Dispatch Operations
- Collection service verification & time-stamping
- Route Optimizing and Tracking
- Inventory asset optimization
- Resource optimization
- Vehicle maintenance and Control
- Recycle Incentives
- Improved customer service
Currently, a great number of deployments are either fully custom solutions or out-of-box with some degree of customization. It seems larger projects are leaning toward customized solutions, while smaller deployments are using out-of-box. In respect to data warehousing, mainstream solutions are interfaced with the enterprise system using customized RFID middleware or data broker modules, while smaller systems are using vendor provided databases.
In some smaller deployments, handheld terminals are the only means of data capture while larger deployments utilizes terminals as complementary to on-truck data capture, particularly for in-field bin inventory management and audit operations.
Besides billing and invoicing, operational data collected within the system are used in the following categories:
- Improved bin and container management
- Reducing costs associated with container loss and fraud
- Greater utilization of Bins & containers
- Optimized container inventory and distribution
- Improved analysis of container aging and replacement rates
- Business intelligence gathering for process optimization
- Greater route optimization
- Enhanced customer service & satisfaction
- Faster dispute resolution
- Proactive service adjustments
- Improved proof-of-service documentation
- Improved productivity
Dynathrone’s RFID engineers in Toronto have hands-on knowledge and vast expertise within the wast collection industry, from North America & Europe and can help your organization to achieve operational excellence using a collection of technologies.