Compology’s in-dumpster cameras and Contamination Score provide path to sustainable, efficient waste collection
Jason Gates of Compology: “There are a lot of ways to collect data and there are a lot of different pieces of information you can look at. But it’s really about turning that information into something that anyone can act on.”
Education and Enforcement
Typically, reducing the amount of contamination in a given recycling stream can be done in a number of ways using the CScore system.
“One of them is targeted contact and coaching,” explains Gates. “Not only are we automating the identification of contamination, but we’re also automating the process to show waste producers how not to contaminate.” It’s not a novel concept – other people have been doing this for years. We’re just automating it so it’s scalable, affordable, and even more effective.
“For example, we can show a sandwich shop with hundreds of locations that 25 locations are continually contaminating. We can then send messages by text or email with timestamped images of the contamination as educational materials to say,” Here’s what you should do Change your behavior so that you no longer contaminate your container. ‘
“It also benefits shippers, recyclers and local authorities very much,” he continues. “Hauliers will get a cleaner recycling stream, which in turn will lower the costs for recyclers sorting and separating materials and helping communities measure themselves against diversion targets.”
Compology also provides actionable data for enforcement. “We found that many contracts include the ability to bill customers for contamination,” he says. “Rather than broadly increasing rates to subsidize the people who contaminate the most, CScore now allows shippers and regulators to bill customers who actually contaminate for the actual amounts of contamination they put in the container give.”
By standardizing the measurement, freight forwarders and supervisory authorities can develop a so-called rubric. For example, one count or less is given, two to three counts are considered light contamination that may have one billing rate, while four or more counts could have a higher billing rate.
“Our customers are even starting to change truck routes based on pollution levels,” he says. “If a container is too heavily contaminated, our carriers can now remove it from a recycling route and take it to a landfill.
“Cameras in containers combined with CScore provide the ‘history of contamination’ by providing consistent visibility and tracking through remote monitoring over an entire container fill cycle.”
He continues, “Conducting a waste audit is no longer just about manually opening the lid and seeing what is on top or getting a driver out of the cab to look. It’s really about getting out of the Seeing and understanding from a distance What’s wrong with a particular waste producer and how do they behave over time using a central database of daily and historical data? “
Building a data-driven future
Until recently, international recycling markets such as China were willing to accept highly contaminated materials at a relatively low rate. “Our industry has built business models with the assumption that these opportunities will last forever,” says Gates. “The reality is now that the Chinese recycling industry does not accept most of the recycled materials from North America that the model has to change. I firmly believe that technology and artificial intelligence can be a tool to develop a recycling model that is profitable and sustainable is a long time to come. “
The ability to collect data consistently and reliably and make it actionable has become very important to this shift. Gates says there are many different ways to collect data. However, Compology’s focus is on providing transparency, and most importantly, making Compology present data in an easily digestible manner to make it easier to take action.
“I think there are a lot of ways to collect data and there are a lot of different pieces of information that you can look at,” he says. “But it’s really about turning that information into something anyone can act on – whether it’s changing a route, delivering new training, or using it to inform the writing of a new policy.” RPN