Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WARNING: Sciency, Financial stuff

RouteSmart software optimizes waste collection routes

In order to better manage the routing challenges faced by its growing fleet of waste collection vehicles, the branch has begun using a new planning software called RouteSmart.

The route-optimizing tool works with the existing Geographical Information System (GIS) data being used to map waste collection.

“This tool will help distribute the workload evenly among the trucks,” said Engineering Technologist Mark Demers. “We’re taking into account the number of stops and the distance traveled when we sequence the routes.”

RouteSmart can map out the most efficient travel routes for streets and pickup stops, thereby minimizing travel time and increasing fuel savings.

The software has been tested in a limited number of collection beats by staff in order to calibrate its performance and set benchmarks.

“We’re going out there and trying to identify all the possible barriers to the most efficient routes,” said Collector Carl LeFabvre. “For example, on some streets or alleys we can only go one way, or there may be a telephone pole blocking access.”

The collectors feedback and the gathered software data is now being tested to enhance the efficiency of the projected routes.

Collectors will soon be able to use the new RouteSmart maps to navigate collection routes more efficiently, saving time and money.

We'll be back Friday with something fun.

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