As businesses and organizations across the US continue to look towards reducing their environmental impact, effective commercial waste management is fast becoming part of the conversation. In the US alone, it is estimated that 292.4 million tons of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) was generated in in 2018, and while figures for business waste generation are difficult to come by, it is thought to account for a significant proportion of that total.
Today, businesses in the US are required by law to implement responsible waste management programs and, in many states, also mandated to recycle materials properly. This, combined with growing consumer engagement on sustainability issues and how businesses are reducing their environmental impact, make effective waste management an important sustainability goal for any organization.
But how can businesses take their waste management programs to the next level? And what technologies are helping to increase recycling rates and streamline material separation at source? To answer those questions and more, RTS is proud to announce the latest in AI-powered waste management solutions that reduce costs, improve benchmarks, analytics, and reporting, and provide powerful insights into waste generation and diversion.
Who is RTS?
RTS is a waste and recycling management company created to provide technology-driven solutions to help businesses and organizations improve waste management processes and increase recycling rates. At the core of our approach is a commitment to leveraging technology for sustainable waste management, integrating advanced tools such as data analytics, real-time tracking, and reporting to optimize waste collection routes, monitor waste generation trends, and make informed decisions on commercial waste management practices.
Our TRUE advisors are available to help businesses on their sustainability journey, partnering with organizations to conduct waste audits that assess waste generation and identify opportunities for reduction, recycling, and composting. We also assist businesses in setting sustainability benchmarks, enabling you to establish targets and measure progress in order to find a waste management solution that fits your specific business.
The Problem with Waste
Today, commercial waste management is a significant challenge to all types of business, and understanding the environmental impact of waste and adopting sustainable waste management practices is crucial for a variety of reasons—from state and national compliance to increased consumer engagement with your brand.
By identifying the sources and types of waste, businesses can implement targeted strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials effectively. This understanding enables informed decisions about waste management that lead to more sustainable practices that align with your business’ environmental goals.
Increasingly, sustainability is valued by customers, employees, and investors. Many job seekers prioritize working for organizations that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable practices. Similarly, investors consider environmental and social responsibility when making investment decisions. By actively managing waste and implementing sustainable waste management practices, businesses can attract top talent, retain employees, and appeal to socially conscious investors. Embracing sustainability not only aligns businesses with the expectations of stakeholders but also positions them as responsible and forward-thinking entities for consumers.
Among the key challenges faced by all types of organizations looking to improve their recycling rates is that of material contamination. Today’s recycling systems are rarely designed to deal with cross contamination, where different materials are mixed within the same batch of waste. For example, a batch of paper waste containing plastic products may be rejected by a recycling facility and will either incur a charge for separation or will be sent to landfill.
This leads to increased disposal costs and potential fines for improper waste management, as well as undermining sustainability goals by contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Pello aims to change this through powerful AI-powered sensors that detect contamination, measure the capacity of recycling containers, and provide insightful analytic data that allows businesses to monitor and measure waste generation through customizable metrics.
How Pello Increased Efficiency and Reduced Environmental Impact at one of Canada’s Largest Universities
At one of Canada’s largest universities, a pilot scheme initiated in 2021 proved the effectiveness of the Pello system, helping the organization to potentially save more than $30,000 per month. Issues surrounding waste contamination were quickly identified, and reducing surcharges, meeting compliance, and improving waste diversion rates were the established goals.
Using a total of 204 sensors to detect both bin fullness and contamination, the Pello system identified 48% average bin fullness at pickup, and at least 64% of cardboard bins with plastic contamination. Pello deployed an AI-deep learning model to detect plastic bags in cardboard bins, sending notifications to site managers who were able to rectify the issue before collection. In addition, bin fullness monitoring helped to reduce the number of collections required.
This allowed them to move from an average of 5.74 pickups to 2.28 pickups per week, and at a cost of $36 per pickup, more efficient waste collection schedules allowed for potential savings of $25,500 per month. In addition, haulers would charge the university $80 for each batch of paper that was contaminated with plastic products, leading to potential savings of $6,400 per month.
Over the course of the pilot scheme, the benefits of the Pello system became increasingly clear, allowing the university to quickly and efficiently reduce contamination at source and streamline collection dates to ensure containers were at capacity. Additionally, data collected on waste generation and diversion allowed the university to set new goals and work towards further reducing waste in the future.
What an RTS’ Pello Solution Looks Like for Your Business
For any business that wants to reduce costs and increase diversion rates, Pello offers an intuitive and intelligent waste management solution that integrates directly into your existing infrastructure and that can be customized to your specific needs. Including analytic inputs spanning bin fill history, location, pickup time, temperature, photos of fill, ultrasonic fill measurement, and contamination indication, it also centralizes your monitoring and management requirements on the Pello dashboard.
From campus management through corporations to entire cities, Pello is made to improve waste and recycling performance and simplify operational systems across all industries and in any setting.
Contact us for a free demo today, or speak to one of RTS’s LEED-accredited advisors for more information on Pello or to arrange a free waste assessment for your business.