A model for the implementation of a two-shift municipal solid waste and recyclable material collection plan that offers greater convenience to residents

Hung Yueh Lin*, Zong Pei Tsai, Guan Hwa Chen, Jehng-Jung Kao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Separating recyclables from municipal solid waste (MSW) before collection reduces not only the quantity of MSW that needs to be treated but also the depletion of resources. However, the participation of residents is essential for a successful recycling program, and the level of participation usually depends on the degree of convenience associated with accessing recycling collection points. The residential accessing convenience (RAC) of a collection plan is determined by the proximity of its collection points to all residents and its temporal flexibility in response to resident requirements. The degree of proximity to all residents is determined by using a coverage radius that represents the maximum distance residents need to travel to access a recycling point. The temporal flexibility is assessed by the availability of proximal recycling points at times suitable to the lifestyles of all residents concerned. In Taiwan, the MSW collection is implemented at fixed locations and at fixed times. Residents must deposit their garbage directly into the collection vehicle. To facilitate the assignment of collection vehicles and to encourage residents to thoroughly separate their recyclables, in Taiwan MSW and recyclable materials are usually collected at the same time by different vehicles. A heuristic procedure including an integer programming (IP) model and ant colony optimization (ACO) is explored in this study to determine an efficient two-shift collection plan that takes into account RAC factors. The IP model has been developed to determine convenient collection points in each shift on the basis of proximity, and then the ACO algorithm is applied to determine the most effective routing plan of each shift. With the use of a case study involving a city in Taiwan, this study has demonstrated that collection plans generated using the above procedure are superior to current collection plans on the basis of proximity and total collection distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

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