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A quarter of a century ago, there was no weighing of any sort on refuse collection vehicles.

Legislation, health & safety, public perception – the entire operating environment was different back then. Both underbody weighing and bin weighing were non-existent. A 26-tonne refuse vehicle would regularly carry 28 or 29 tonnes of waste and domestic collection vehicles would be filled two or three times a day. Inefficient and often dangerous operation was common.

So…What are the top 5 benefits and functions of a bin weighing system today?

1. Accuracy

Bin weighing systems weigh the precise weight of wastes collected from wheeled bin containers to accuracies of 0.5 kilograms for two wheeled bins and 2 Kilograms for trade containers. Without having to stop the lifter, each lifting chair is installed with a weighing loadcell and weighs two different bins independently and simultaneously.

2. Integrations, Reporting and Trend Analysis

There are options for collection data to be relayed back to the base in real-time, via GPRS mobile networks to the cloud-based server. The data is stored for further trend analysis and reporting through proprietary waste management software systems such as: VWS Live, PurGo or another 3rd party software solution. This allows back office software operators to monitor and plan the vehicles load carrying capacity and reduces risk of potential vehicle overloading prosecutions. It also monitors any period of inactivity and subsequently, signposts any inefficient half loads. Controlling and preventing the collection of unwanted and unknown bins is essential for an effective collection operation. Cases for rejecting unwanted bins include: the bin has no tag or an unknown tag or the collection has been frozen through non-payment. Emptied or not, all transactions are recorded on an exception report.

3. Pay-by-weight

By using a bin weighing system, it is possible to monitor customers operating within a banding charge system, to ensure that they are invoiced correctly for the amount of waste they produce. The system can be further enhanced by connecting the data via a cloud-based system, such as VWS Live, enabling remote monitoring and back office fault diagnosis. This helps to reduce vehicle downtime, whilst providing a better service. Vehicle data can be analysed before it returns to the depot, by providing a real-time solution to issues such as: uncollected bin queries and fraudulent collections, or re-routing vehicles for urgent collections.

4. Maximising Profit and Efficiency

Most bin weighing systems comprise of; a weighing controller/display, weighing loadcells, a weighing module, an input/output control module, an RFID control module, RFID tag readers and a choice of optional or bespoke peripherals. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags or micro-chips are fitted to the bins. The bin tag is read by a tag reader installed to the lifting comb. This means that the bin weighing system identifies and reads a unique number, thus validating the bin prior to lifting and emptying and recording weight alongside company name. A bin weighing system allows a company to pin point profitable and loss-making clients by knowing exactly what is collected from each client. The use of RFID bin tagging allows the collection of relevant information including customer details, bin details, ID and RFID Data.

5. Safety

A benefit of using a bin weighing system is safety. The system can highlight over-filled bins or bins which are too heavy, whilst simultaneously recording the data. A fully integrated system will offer statistics and information in regard to re-offending companies and organisation. Having access to bin weight data can help to proactively manage customer accounts, by providing trend analysis and evidence to prove excessive weight. This information can be used to proactively educate customers and promote good health and safety best practice.

The possibilities that this technology can bring is now at long last exciting the waste management industry in the UK. One of the key benefits that drives the adoption of bin weighing and identification technology in the UK is the greater transparency it brings to collections and the rich management data that will help waste producers reduce and segregate their waste streams better. Adopting a pay by weight scheme offers huge advantages and cost savings. What a bin weighing system really provides is accurately weighed bins and an equitable charging method that provides customers the opportunity to manage their waste more effectively. From introducing bin weighing and reporting, not only will you be able to offer your customers a greater level of service, but you will also be able to increase both yours and your customers’ turnover and profitability.

As a company, Vehicle Weighing Solutions has spent years developing their bin weighing system ENVIROWEIGH. They have made a significant financial investment in perfecting a dynamic bin weighing system that will work with all lift manufacturers at all speeds. VWS has also made a major investment in to RFID technology, including in-house manufactured RFID antennas and the VWS performance RFID tag. The antennas ‘read’ the RFID tags with outstanding reliability to allow the waste collector to track and manage every bin efficiently.

Vehicle Weighing Solutions are now offering VWS Live for customers interested in the next generation of waste collection management. As an option, the bin lift transaction data including rising, falling and net weights, GPS location information and RFID tag numbers, can be stored and displayed in the VWS live portal – accessible on any device via an internet connection.

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