Waste Management boosts profit by rerouting and replacing trash trucks

Waste Management is reaping the benefits of an ongoing effort to replace some of its trucks and reroute others in a more efficient manner. Waste Management initiated the use of software to optimize the routes of its drivers in the industrial sector. This sector involves collecting trash from dumpsters at various construction sites, which are often spread out across cities rather than concentrated within neighborhoods like residential or commercial routes. The software employed by Waste Management considers variables such as road conditions, vehicle-weight limitations, and restrictions such as bridges that are off-limits to trucks.

Dynamic routing software

“You can think of it as Waze on steroids,” said Devina Rankin CFO to WSJ, referring to Google’s navigation app. Previously, drivers would divide up daily routes like they would trading cards and would run into unexpected road closures or other headaches along the way. Now, Waste Management assigns drivers’ routes using its routing software, allowing the company to pick up more trash in less time. Waste Management utilizes its dynamic routing software for nearly all of its industrial routes. In the forthcoming years, the company anticipates extending the same features to its residential and commercial businesses.

Side-loading trucks

Waste Management has also observed significant progress from its investments in side-loading trash trucks. These trucks operate with a single driver and utilize a mechanical arm to collect trash containers from the street. This stands in contrast to traditional rear-loading garbage trucks, which necessitate two employees; a driver and a second individual who manually collects trash bags from sidewalks and loads them into the truck.

Side-loading trucks are more efficient by requiring only one employee and enhance safety by minimizing accidents and fatalities associated with drivers exiting the vehicle to collect trash on bustling city streets. Side-loading trucks necessitate homeowners and businesses to place their trash in designated containers and position them on the side of the street for collection. This can be a significant change, particularly for customers accustomed to depositing trash behind their homes in an alley.

Source: WSJ

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