Automated waste disposal yard for a sustainable future
The disposal center as a central collection point for recyclables is an important component of today’s sustainability strategies. This makes important to organize the work in the yards efficiently and in an energy-saving manner. Automation technology plays a central role in this. It not only enables a more efficient utilization, but also helps to reduce the manual workload and operator attendance.
We at Hunkeler Systeme have been working on the development and optimization of such systems for years. As a reliable partner, we support waste disposal yards in Switzerland with technology and expertise.
How does material acceptance work in the automated waste disposal yard?
At the waste disposal yard, everything typically starts with the delivery and collection of recyclables. However, the delivery of smaller quantities from private households is often proves time-consuming. The material must be weighed and accounted manually. This is labor-intensive and expensive. With intuitive and easy-to-use weighing systems, self-service processes can be set up that enable faster recording.
By reducing the dependency on operator attendance, extended opening hours are possible. In some cases, it is even possible to set up disposal yards with round-the-clock operation. It is also conceivable to set up fully automated branch offices for the collection of recyclables.
Automated access systems
Efficient access and exit management is an important component of automated waste disposal yards. Access and exits are recorded electronically using personalized customer cards, digital applications, or anonymous single-use passes.
One advantage of such features is that operators know exactly how many customers are on the site at any given time. As in car parks, access can be automatically denied if there are already too many customers on the site and the waste disposal yard is completely full.
Another advantage of access and exit management is the ability to plan staffing levels in line with demand. All entries and exits can be recorded and statistically evaluated. These findings can then be used by the operators to plan staffing levels at the recycling center based on the actual peak times.
However, the access devices are not only used to record access and exits, but also as a means of recording and billing the disposal of recyclable materials subject to charges.
Weighing systems for source-based weighing
An important point in the digitalization of processes in disposal yards is the weighing of the recyclables and waste delivered according to the polluter-pays principle.
After entering the disposal yard, customers dispose of the recyclables and waste they have brought with them. Using the customer card issued at the entrance or in advance, they can dispose of recyclables and waste themselves in the bins provided.
The amount thrown in is automatically determined and the corresponding fee is charged to the customer’s account. Support and checks by employees are only required in exceptional cases.
Hunkeler Systeme offers a wide range of different weighing systems:
- Floor scales
- Container scales
- Weighing gates
- Waste houses
- Scales for tipping devices
Floor scales are particularly flexible and offer the option of weighing up to ten tons of material. Depending on requirements, floor scales can be custom-made and can be used for skips through to special containers.
Container scales are used for weighing conventional press and roll-off containers. Containers typically have a capacity of up to fifteen tons.
Weighing gates are particularly suitable for receiving waste bags. The gate is activated after successful identification and allows disposal. Weigh gates are particularly efficient in combination with self-pressing containers.
Waste houses are the compact solutions for source-based billing in the smallest of spaces and are suitable for small quantities of waste. Equipped for mobile data transmission and suitable for 240 l to 1100 l containers, they are perfect for decentralized installation in municipalities.
Scales for lifting and tipping devices empty containers directly into stationary compactors or compacting containers and determine the weight of the disposed recyclables. Data is transmitted wirelessly to the control system.
Weighbridges are useful for facilitating the delivery of large quantities of waste. The vehicle transporting the materials is easily weighed before and after unloading to calculate the waste quantities. Weighbridges can also be used for the collection of recyclable materials.
Billing at the machine or online
Before customers leave the recycling center, they must pay the fee due at a pay machine. This step in the recycling center is also similar to the procedure used in parking garages. Cash, debit or credit cards can be used at the payment machines.
As an alternative to conventional payment machines, it is also possible to install card payment machines without a cash payment option. Card payment machines can be placed directly in front of the exit barrier. This is both convenient and efficient for customers. For the operator of the waste disposal yard, this solution reduces the risks involved in handling large amounts of cash.
It is also possible to enable billing via a prepaid account. This can be useful for implementing decentralized collection points, for example. On-site billing is completely eliminated. The use of app solutions that can replace the customer card can also be particularly useful.
In addition to the option of paying disposal fees directly at the recycling center, there are also other billing options. For example, disposal yards can enable large customers to pay by monthly invoice. The digital recording of the recyclables delivered enables uncomplicated and automated invoicing.
Access and billing via smartphone app
With the InfoApp from Hunkeler Systeme, access to the waste disposal yard can be more effective and easier. It replaces the RFID customer card with which customers identify themselves.
Using the InfoApp has various advantages. For example, it enables customers to register online. This is more convenient and reduces the administrative work on site for the waste disposal yard. Forgetting or losing the customer card is also a thing of the past with the app solution. The customer also benefits from personal statistics on the recyclables disposed of and the fees charged. This ensures full transparency at all times.
The InfoApp can also be used as a communication channel for the waste disposal yard. Different opening hours, personalized statistics, price changes and other information can be communicated directly to customers.
How does the data analysis of a waste disposal yard work?
All recorded data (access, bookings, etc.) can be evaluated by the operators on the WebConnect platform from Hunkeler Systeme. This gives you an overview of the processes in the disposal yard at all times.
One of the advantages of the digitized waste disposal yard is the ability to collect data on capacity utilization and customer volumes. This is done completely automatically. The number of customers who visit the recycling center during the course of a day is recorded via the access system. The statistics can then be evaluated on the web-based WebConnect platform. This enables recycling centre operators to determine peak times and optimize staff planning and shift schedules accordingly.
The WebConnect platform also offers the option of generating statistics on recyclable material quantities at the touch of a button. This gives operators an overview of the quantities of recyclables disposed of at all times and can also be used to plan operations. These statistics can also be evaluated for individual customers or customer groups at any time. This opens up new possibilities for recycling centers when supporting major customers or working with public bodies such as municipalities or cities.
All data collected by the system can also be used by other software solutions via a comprehensive REST-API interface. Whether ERP system, statistics tool or AI-based data analysis: the automatically recorded data from the weighing, access and billing systems is available without barriers and can also be used by existing infrastructures.
Hunkeler Systeme: A reliable partner for digitalization
The digitalization of waste disposal and recycling yards offers enormous advantages. Increased efficiency in serving customers makes operations more economical. Whether an existing or new site, digitalization brings more entrepreneurial freedom and transparency for operators and customers.
The prerequisite for a successful digitization project in a waste disposal yard is cooperation with a reliable partner. A strong project partner who knows the processes in a recycling yard and has the necessary skills (software etc.) and products is of the utmost importance for the success of your project.
A strong service structure for hardware and software components is also of central importance for the subsequent operation of the recycling center.