Navigating Narrow Paths: Learn how we are transforming alley waste management

– 4 Min Read

Navigating the narrow, twisting corridors of urban alleys just got a whole lot easier. We’re rolling out a groundbreaking suite of tools designed to tackle the unique challenges of waste collection in these tight spaces, creating safer, more efficient operations.

Our latest innovation within RouteSmart Online directly tackles the difficulties waste haulers encounter in alleys. Unlike wider streets, alleys pose significant accessibility issues due to their constrained dimensions, forcing our clients to navigate these tight spaces with smaller trucks. This situation not only complicates the logistics of waste and recycling collection but also requires the use of more resources, raises safety concerns, and increases the wear and tear on vehicles due to higher fuel consumption and longer operational times.

David Biderman, President of Biderman Consulting, LLC, and former executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), shared some stark realities of alley collection. “In addition to the tight fit where you need to run smaller trucks in tight spaces and there are dumpsters and containers, sometimes there are homeless people who are sleeping in the alley and there have been some unfortunate instances where trucks have run over them,” David Biderman, President of Biderman Consulting, LLC, and former executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) said. “The other safety-related issue occurs when you finished servicing the alley and then you have to come out of the alley and onto a street. Sometimes there may be a pedestrian there.” 

Traditional route planning systems often fall short in such scenarios; they might not even recognize alleys on their maps, leading to inefficiencies and suboptimal service. These oversights can result in considerable additional burdens for our back office and the drivers. By ensuring that each street address is seamlessly associated with its corresponding alley, customers assigned to a particular street are effectively serviced along the designated alley. This capability is not just about overcoming logistical hurdles—it also strives to elevate customer satisfaction and enhance the overall efficiency of urban waste management.

“RouteSmart Online revolutionizes the way waste haulers service alleys, starting with our advanced assignment feature,” says RouteSmart Senior Product Manager Mike Corder. “By geocoding customers to their actual street addresses, our system then seamlessly associates each street with its corresponding alley. This means that even though the service requirement is for the alleys behind customers’ homes, where many cities mandate waste collection if alleys are navigable, our system ensures that waste haulers can accurately and efficiently service these unique locations.”  

Corder emphasizes that this approach does more than just meet direct service needs; it significantly boosts operational efficiency and customer satisfaction by ensuring comprehensive and effective service to every customer, regardless of their collection point.

“This innovative feature is a testament to our commitment to navigating and simplifying the complexities of urban waste management, offering a solution that significantly improves both the precision of service and overall operational effectiveness,” he added.  

At RouteSmart, we are committed to empowering our clients to efficiently navigate the intricacies of urban waste management, enhancing both customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. This is a key step forward in achieving that goal.

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