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Improving Service & Conserving Fuel Through Route Optimization

The below article was written by Momentum Recycling “Amglassador” Zach Green:

Momentum Recycling started back in 2008 with one goal in mind, to help communities move towards zero waste. This ambitious goal is coming to fruition as more businesses and residents continue to sign up for our recycling services, including glass recycling, mixed recycling and food waste. As Momentum Recycling has grown, we continually strive to find better ways to serve the community and protect the environment (air quality in particular). One way we’re doing this is through the help of route optimization and sequencing solutions.

As residents of the Salt Lake Valley, we’re well aware of air quality concerns and take the health of the environment very seriously. According to UCAIR, vehicles account for nearly 1/2 of winter workday emissions and are the primary source for the air pollutant PM2.5. This harmful pollutant is known to exacerbate the side effects of those living with asthma and COPD1.

What role do routing solutions play? – As a business, serving thousands of customers a week is no small task and performing each route by memory can lead to missed bin pick-ups and inefficient navigation. Through the help of route planning and optimization techniques, we are able to plan the most efficient routes possible to reduce the amount of drive time it takes to perform services and in turn the amount of emissions produced by our trucks (which mainly run on natural gas). Examples of these route changes include not performing U-turns, avoiding left turns (like UPS does as well), avoiding traffic congestion, and setting alerts for hard acceleration. By simply taking the time to implement routing solutions to plan our routes, we’re capable of reducing route time by nearly 35%, resulting in a significant decrease in fuel consumption and total CO2 emissions.

The growth of Momentum Recycling has provided even more opportunities to help communities move towards zero waste. The integration of routing software will not only allow us to better serve our customers but it will also help minimize our carbon footprint. As a business, both of these things are of utmost importance.

 

Sources:
1. “Air Pollution and Public Health in Utah.” UtahAir – Particulate Matter. Utah Department of Health, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
2. “Sources of Emissions.” UCAIR. UCAIR, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.