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LA County Sanitation Selects RNG Supplier

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Automating waste collection and recycling can reduce workers’ compensation claims and insurance premiums while improving route efficiency. However, waste and recycling carts can represent considerable expenses for the municipalities or carriers who purchase them. In addition to their initial supply costs, their assembly, distribution, management and maintenance have associated costs.

Many container providers offer services to assist carriers or municipalities with container assembly and distribution and with software that allows tracking of container inventory and service requests.

Dan Lynch, Atlanta-based National Account Manager at Los Angeles-based Rehrig Pacific, a container provider that also offers container management services, provides some of the container management best practices the company has learned from providing this service.

Delivery and inventory management

“When delivering carts, it’s essential that the address is linked to the serial number and barcode of the cart at the time of delivery,” he advises.

Lynch also recommends taking a time-stamped photo of the cart at the curb to establish a visual record of the cart’s delivery. “This ensures that the asset matches the service address, and appropriate billing can be developed from that delivery.

He says using software that offers a work order, asset, and inventory management system can make it easier to distribute and manage carts. “It’s critical to use technology to manage inventory and the associated work orders that impact those inventory levels,” Lynch says. “The old days of using manual spreadsheets are due to human error and just not efficient.”

By automating this process using software, he says, municipalities and carriers can easily track the size of carts in their inventories, so they know when it’s time to re-order carts of certain sizes. The software also allows assigning a container to a specific address as recommended by Lynch.

He adds that municipalities or hauliers should integrate the software they use to manage their carts with their back-office software and track all actions associated with a cart, from delivery to wheel replacement. Lynch says this back-office integration is often overlooked.

Trolley maintenance and replacement

Purchasing a high-quality cart can help reduce field work orders over the life of the cart, Lynch says.

In addition, it recommends a preventative maintenance program for the truck clamp, in the case of residential garbage and recycling carts. This will help reduce damage to carts when handling during maintenance.

“In addition to that, it’s important to have a sufficient stock of wheels, axles, covers and other components on your truck so that you don’t have to bring a dolly for a simple repair that would otherwise could be carried out in the field”, he suggests. . This saves money and time.

However, not all carts can be repaired. That’s usually the case when that cart’s body has suffered structural damage, Lynch says. “But what is often forgotten at this time is that the cart may still be under warranty and needs to be electronically submitted for warranty.” He says this is often true for carts that are less than 10 years old.

Of course, companies will need to track the age of their carts in order to take advantage of manufacturer warranties. Lynch suggests recording the serial number of each warranted cart as it is brought into the yard. This number can then be cross-referenced using the software to determine when it entered inventory. “If this is not done, the broken carts will either be landfilled or sent to a scrap recycler for material credit,” he adds. “As part of our truck maintenance program, we electronically record all serial numbers (regardless of truck manufacturer) and provide them to our customer to submit to the appropriate truck company(s) for warranty.”

Whether a carrier decides to handle cart maintenance and management in-house or outsource it to a service provider, Lynch says it’s important to understand the associated costs. “It allows for an objective comparison and making the right decision for both parties,” he says. “Maintaining the proper number of spares is key to limiting your repair costs to repairs on the street rather than bringing them back to the job site, as discussed earlier.”

When deciding whether or not to outsource shopping cart management, Lynch says, “Having well-vetted employees in this customer-facing role is critical. The main purpose of a haul operation is to pick up trash and recycling every day. Container maintenance is often overlooked, which can lead to lost revenue and poor customer service. »

Lynch adds that outsourcing this service often means technology can be introduced to reduce the time and money carriers or municipalities spend managing work order volumes and inventory.