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Chapter: Civil : Municipal Solid Waste Management : Collection And Transfer

Collection Operation of Solid Waste

Collection Operation of Solid Waste
1 Movement of collection crew 2 Collection vehicle routing



1 Movement of collection crew


In cultures such as India, Bangladesh, etc., solid waste collection is assigned to the lowest social group. More often, the collection crew member accepts the job as a temporary position or stopgap arrangement, while looking for other jobs that are considered more respectable.


Apart  from  this  cultural  problem,  the  attitude  of  some  SWM  authorities   affects


collection operation. For example, some authorities still think that the collection of solid waste is mechanical, and therefore, the collection crew does not need any training to acquire special kills. As a result, when a new waste collector starts working,  he or she is sent to the field without firm instruction concerning his or her  duties, responsibilities  and required  skills. For an  effective collection operation, the  collection team  must  properly be trained.  The collection crew and the driver of the collection vehicle must, for example, work as a team, and this is important to maintain the team morale and a sense of social responsibility among these workers.

The difference may be one or two minutes per collection stop, but it matters with the number of stops the crew will take in a working shift. Multiplying the minutes by the total number of crew working and labour cost depicts the amount of labour hours lost in terms of


monetary value.


Generally,  familiarity  of the crew with the collection  area improves  efficiency.   For example, the driver becomes familiar with the traffic  jams, potholes  and other obstructions that he or she must avoid. The crew is aware of the location of the containers and the vehicle stops. It is, therefore, important to assign each crew specific areas of responsibility.  Working together also  establishes an  understanding of  the  strong  and weak  points of  the  team members and efficient work sequences.  The collection operation must also observe  a strict  time schedule.  Testing of new routes, new gadgets and  vehicles  is best carried  out first in the laboratory and later in a pilot area. Testing of a new sequence using the whole service area could result in disorder and breakdown of the solid waste collection system. Studies show that it takes two hours to recover for every hour of a failed system.

2 Collection vehicle routing


 Efficient  routing  and  re-routing  of  solid  waste collection vehicles can  help decrease  costs  by  reducing  the  labour expended for collection. Routing procedures usually consist of the following two separate components:     

 (i) Macro-routing:  Macro-routing, also  referred to as  route-balancing,  consists  of  dividing the total collection area into routes, sized in such a way as to represent a day's  collection  for  each  crew.  The  size  of  each  route  depends on the  amount  of  waste  collected  per  stop,  distance  between  stops,  loading  time  and  traffic  conditions.  Barriers,  such  as  railroad  embankments,  rivers and roads with heavy competing  traffic,  can  be  used  to  divide route territories. As much as possible, the size and  shape of route areas should be balanced within the limits imposed by such barriers.

 (ii) Micro-routing:  Using  the  results of  the  macro-routing analysis, micro- routing  can  define  the  specific  path  that  each  crew  and  collection  vehicle will take each  collection day. Results of micro-routing analyses can then be used to readjust  macro-  routing  decisions.  Micro-routing analyses  should also include input and review from  experienced collection drivers.        

Collection Vehicle Route



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