For any municipality — no matter how large or small — devising and implementing a comprehensive waste-collection strategy is a monumental endeavor. Major factors that city and/or county leaders must decide upon during the process include which types of waste will be collected, what container types will be used for household and business waste storage, where collected waste will be taken, what types of vehicles will be used to collect and transport the waste, what routes the waste-collection fleet will follow … and the list goes on and on from there.
Of course, with so many factors in the mix, it can be easy to overlook some important strategic elements along the way — potentially creating considerable headaches down the road. To ensure that your municipality’s waste-collection strategy has all of its bases covered from the start, be sure to consider these five important (yet frequently overlooked) components of a municipal waste-collection strategy during the planning process:
Availability of trucks— Many municipalities simply can’t afford to have a significant surplus of trucks in their refuse-collection fleets. And when mechanical issues arise with their vehicles, getting them serviced can sometimes be a time-intensive process — especially when supply-chain issues are prevalent. So, to keep customers’ service from being interrupted by vehicle-servicing issues, it is critical to have a plan in place to ensure that replacement trucks and parts are available as needed.
For waste-collection fleet managers, one easy solution to the truck-downtime problem can be seen in Amrep’s Ready Truck program. Designed to help waste-collection programs meet their customers’ needs and keep their vehicles up and running, this program offers an array of readily stocked inventory, including immediate availability of front-end loaders and side loaders, with a variety of chassis options.
In addition, Amrep offers competitively solicited cooperative purchasing contracts that can simplify the buying process for municipalities interested in the manufacturer’s garbage trucks and cable hoists. These contracts, for which the competitive bid work has already been completed, help ensure that buyers get the best value — all while eliminating the administrative burden typically associated with the purchasing process.
Truck flexibility— When out on their routes, waste-collection vehicles can encounter a range of different types of refuse and collection scenarios — which can often require some flexibility from the collection fleet. For example, front-end loaders are typically the best solution for collecting waste from dumpsters at retail stores and other businesses, while side loaders are generally the best fit for collecting trash from carts and containers placed along residential streets. Further, when collecting waste from the tighter alleyways often encountered in urban environments, a rear loader is often the ideal answer thanks to its easy maneuverability in compact spaces.
By finding a trusted equipment supplier that offers a diverse line of waste-collection vehicles — such as Amrep, whose waste-collection portfolio includes front-end loaders, side loaders, rear loaders and more — municipalities can procure a highly flexible fleet of waste-collection vehicles from a single source. This can help ensure parts compatibility, servicing familiarity, and easier learning curves for vehicle operators, to name a few of the advantages of utilizing a common supplier. (Further, Amrep’s use of genuine Hardox® wear plate steel in the entire body shell of its vehicles helps ensure added durability, added damage resistance, and a longer vehicle service life.)
More and more frequently, waste-collection customers are demanding an eco-friendly focus from their service providers — which is leading these providers to seek out equipment suppliers with a clear commitment to sustainability. And a shining example of a sustainability-focused supplier in the waste industry can be seen in the Wastequip brand Toter, the leading provider of waste and recycling carts to waste haulers and municipalities in North America.
Among its many initiatives with a focus on waste-industry sustainability, Toter:
- produces the EVR-Green cart, the industry’s first to boast a body made from 100% recycled material
- manufactures a full line of organics carts and bins
- offers a Cart Buy-Back program that provides users with a credit for recycling their qualified used carts
- in 2021 launched its Project25 initiative, which includes a commitment to reducing the amount of virgin resin used in its cart manufacturing by 25% — a goal that will help reduce Toter’s carbon footprint by at least 9% per cart.
- Parts and service coverage
Another way to ensure optimal levels of fleet uptime is to leverage suppliers who can ensure quick provision of parts, equipment, and services when they’re needed most. Such speedy delivery can be harnessed by partnering with Wastequip brands Wastebuilt and Wastequip WRX, which offer local delivery in 11 metro areas across the U.S., along with next-day shipping service to over 60% of the nation.
Wastebuilt is Wastequip’s one-stop parts supplier to the nation’s refuse industry, with 130,000-plus individual parts for refuse equipment in stock — from refuse body parts to chassis parts, fluid conveyance, container parts and MRO/safety supplies. And Wastequip WRX operates the nation’s premier service stations for everything from hoists and trash trucks to tarping systems, refuse equipment, and more.
Additionally, it’s important to line up go-to providers of waste-industry technology and services, each of which can add extra efficiency and effectiveness to waste-collection operations. Prime examples here include Wastequip brands wasteware and ContainerPros. Offering nationwide container and cart support services, ContainerPros also provides an array of other specialized professional waste-management services, including multiple cart programs, consulting, customer management, help with route mapping and logistics, billing and rate confirmations for residential and commercial operations, and marketing and sales assistance. And technology provider wasteware offers a cloud-based, waste industry-focused suite of software solutions, plus a mobile app designed to help users stay informed and to support accurate decision-making based on transparent and reliable data.
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- A plan for education
It’s also critical for municipalities to educate local residents about the ins and outs of their waste-collection and recycling programs. In doing so, it’s important to provide clear details about any regulations, processes and restrictions that, if left unexplained, could eventually lead to customer confusion, dissatisfaction and anger. Further, when customers know all the ins and outs of their waste and recycling programs — along with all the “whys” behind the waste and recycling rules — the process can run much more smoothly and efficiently for everyone involved.
To make the educational efforts around their waste and recycling programs especially effective, it can help when municipalities can find ways to:
- make the education easy and interactive
- make the education a community affair
- make the education social
For those looking to learn more on the topic, this blog article offers a deeper dive into ways to achieve all of these education-focused objectives.
Wastequip is the leading North American manufacturer of waste handling equipment, with an international network of manufacturing facilities and the most extensive dealer network in the industry. Wastequip’s broad range of waste and recycling equipment, trucks, and systems is used to collect, process and transport recyclables, solid waste, liquid waste, and organics. The company’s brands include Amrep®, Accurate™, ConFab®, ContainerPros®, Galbreath®, Mountain Tarp®, Pioneer™, Toter®, Wastebuilt®, Wastequip®, Wastequip WRX™ and wasteware™. For more information, visit www.wastequip.com.