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Houston Adds Digital Platform to Improve Waste and Recycling Operations Efficiency

Houston Waste Recycling
(Credit: Pixabay)

Houston will use Rubicon Technologies’ digital platforms to provide data to help the city improve its waste and recycling systems.

The city, which is the nation’s fourth largest, says it will use the data system to completely digitize its entire waste and recycling system. Rubicon says the improved efficiency can also lead to increased recycling rates.

As part of a three-year partnership, Houston will use the Rubicon Smart City cloud-based platform that helps municipalities run more effective waste, recycling and heavy-duty fleet operations. The system will collect onboard data and has a web-based portal that will help Houston’s Department of Solid Waste track recycling metrics including service verifications, missed pickups, vehicle usage and maintenance information.

The smart system will be installed on Houston’s entire waste and recycling fleet, which includes 391 vehicles. It will also allow drivers to document any problems on their routes, including reporting recycling contamination, as well as helping all levels of operations with information regarding the city’s waste systems.

Efficiency in municipal waste and recycling programs can be important, especially since the EPA estimated 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in the United States in 2018. Of that, 69 million pounds were recycled and 25 million pounds were composted.

Those figures have gone up by nearly 100 million pounds since 1990.

Rubicon also recently entered into a multi-year agreement with exterior building and outdoor living products distributor SRS to use its digital waste and recycling platforms. SRS has nearly 600 locations across the US and is using the software to manage its waste and recycling as well as provide sustainability data, analytics and reporting tools.

The Smart City platform is being used in 70 cities in the US, including programs in Baltimore, Memphis and San Antonio.

“These insights, alongside route optimization and digitization efforts, are set to deliver an optimal operation to the City of Houston,” says Solid Waste Management Department Director Mark Wilfalk.

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