By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
Faced with mounting budget deficits, communities
across the United States have looked for innovative
ways to cut costs, and technology often plays a prominent
role in these efforts. The city of Hattiesburg, MS,
has slashed $400,000 from its public works budget by
automating its garbage collection process and utilizing
RFID to track collection routes.
Hattiesburg is the fourth-largest city in Mississippi.
Prior to 2010, trash and yard waste collection were
completely manual; employees had to lift the cans into
the trucks by hand, and keeping track of which routes
had been completed was difficult. If residents called
and claimed the truck had missed their house, there
was no way for managers to determine whether the
trucks had made every stop on the route or if the customers
had just failed to get their cans to the curb on
time. There were also frequent workmen's compensation
claims and injuries associated with lifting the cans.