Using technology on its waste and recycling trucks, the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has improved customer service for city residents by reducing the number of missed pickups, optimizing collection routes, eliminating paper route sheets, and automating the tracking of customer issues. It has also saved taxpayer dollars by reducing fuel consumption and wear and tear on vehicles.
The city is featured in a four-part docuseries, called "Climate Next," focusing on a selection of Amazon Web Services (AWS) partners using the cloud technology to enable sustainability efforts. Santa Fe has been using Rubicion SmartCity for smart waste and recycling solutions.
Each of Santa Fe’s trash vehicles collects garbage and recycling from between 800 and 900 locations per day. Drivers carry a smartphone running Rubicon’s proprietary app, which provides optimized collection routes and live telematics information, and streams that data back to city headquarters via the cloud. Managers and supervisors can track the service status at every home in the city, monitor route progress, and address issues in the field. These are all essential insights for efficient program operations.
Before using the smart technology, recycling supervisor Abran Sanchez said crews missed up to 60 pickups per day, forcing them to return to those locations along their routes to complete the pickups. That led to higher labor costs and wasted fuel. This technology allows them to stay on track in real time, and provide updates on issues they face in the field.
Sanchez also said the number of residents who recycle has gone up since the department started using the technology.
“These efficiencies will reduce our carbon emissions associated with service delivery, moving us toward Santa Fe’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2040," said Shirlene Sitton, Environmental Services Division director for the city.