Technology provides sophisticated options in waste collection

Leading weighing on board manufacturer PM Onboard considers that new technology is transforming the collection of waste as environmental pressures are forcing communities to recognise that the dumping of waste is no longer sustainable, and the only way to reduce the amount of waste generated is to increase the recycled element of that waste. As European Legislation gets tougher, with new targets being set for the amount of waste which has to be recycled, so Governments are having to come to grips with the problems of mountains of rubbish.

PM Onboard says that its weighing systems are playing an important role in this process by enabling waste vehicle operators to identify the weight of waste generated by each household, together with the weight of recyclable material collected. In this way, schemes can be developed to provide the incentive required to change customer attitudes to the recycling of waste.

The company reports that with so many major waste operators across the UK and Europe seeing the benefits PM’s systems can provide, the company has had to dramatically increase its manufacturing output in order to meet the significant number of new orders. Systems are not only being fitted to new vehicles, but are also being retro-fitted to entire existing fleets says PM.

On-board weighing systems, which were primarily designed to inform the driver that the vehicle was operating at full capacity whilst not being overloaded, have become more and more sophisticated in their accuracy and capability. PM says its top of the range products are now able to weigh to an accuracy of one part in three thousand, or within 0.033%. All the systems have type approval, which enables them to be accepted as legal for trade throughout Europe.

Developments in dynamic weighing have come a long way says the company; so much so that skips and bins can be accurately weighed as they are being loaded into the vehicle, thus, providing valuable information to the operator, whilst not interfering with the driver’s efficiency.

PM’s latest products incorporate an on-board computer, mounted in the driver’s cab, which can monitor the vehicle’s weight, route plan and load profile. This makes use of new technology, including GPS satellite navigation and RFID identification systems, which, when incorporated with GSM voice and GPRS data communication, can provide the operator with real time fleet management information back at base. The data collected can be further processed to enable the invoicing of customers on the same day.

Belgian experience

In Belgium, where recycling is well developed, one community has recently outsourced the processing of their waste collection data to Waste Collection Systems (WCS) – a company within the PM Group – whereby WCS prepares invoices based on the weight of waste collected, for the local authority to send to householders. PM says this is regarded by many as the emergence of the fifth utility, after water, electricity, gas and telecoms.

Mark Bottomley, PM Onboard’s Marketing Manager, says: “New acquisitions in Belgium, Holland and Germany, businesses which provide services to the waste management industries in Europe, are enabling us to offer customers the complete management system – from supplying refuse containers to the weighing equipment and software.”

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