Bluewater Recycling Association

Located in southwestern Ontario, Canada, the Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA) is a unique rural based non-profit organization that manages recycling efforts for 20 municipalities. Bluewater services some 150,000 people in 70,000 households and is one of the largest multi-material resource management municipal cooperative organizations in Canada to provide waste reduction and environmental services. Bluewater manages over 30,000 tonnes of materials annually and has built a reputation for leading the industry in terms of using the latest technologies and techniques to optimize its services and its operations.

Bluewater Recycling Association
“We have a vision to use the latest equipment and technologies to ensure the most effective and efficient recycling management,” said Francis Veilleux, President, Bluewater Recycling Association. “The FleetLink fleet management solution is part of our mission to constantly enhance the quality and responsiveness of our customer service.”

Automation innovation

Bluewater understands that by automating its services it can be more productive, safe and cost-effective. The organization’s first step was to employ automated collection vehicles with hydraulic controls to collect standardized containers. Their next step was to automate service verification and improve visibility with new hardware, software and wireless technologies.

Improving communications

Bluewater knows that keeping drivers and vehicles constantly connected to the back-office is essential to fleet operations excellence. Management wanted to make sure that both its drivers and its back-office team had real-time communications capabilities. To outfit their vehicles with the most up-to-date technologies, they selected FleetMind’s touchscreen-based onboard computing system, FleetLink Vision+.

The FleetMind touchscreen device is an interactive command center that provides a single point of interface for the driver, truck, back-office and all communications. It features a high quality touch screen display, real-time video and audio functionality, flexible interfaces that ensure easy interaction with the control system, and a lightweight design that can withstand the toughest environments.

Bluewater wanted to ensure improved communications with a solution that was easy for drivers to use to avoid distractions. And, most importantly, that would help create a paperless environment!

Automating service verification

Once the communications capabilities were in place, Bluewater looked to take advantage of new RFID technologies to automatically track and monitor collection activity. Bluewater has commenced a phased roll-out of the award-winning FleetLink system that integrates RFID technologies to enable fully automated service verification.

Using RFID tags, each garbage can is associated with a specific customer address. Fleet operations personnel now have visibility into customer activity to automatically view the customer being serviced when a container is lifted, verify the accuracy of containers being serviced against driver run sheets. Bluewater believes this new level of automation will help its organization improve customer service and accountability, ensure accurate billing, better monitor driver and truck activity, and improve their tracking of recycling assets.

Bluewater benefits

The RFID-based automated service verification capabilities will benefit Bluewater in the following ways:

  • Help improve processes and cost savings through automatic asset tracking
  • Deliver improved visibility into container usage
  • Eliminate the need for operator intervention
  • Allow for rapid and accurate responses to customer service issues and question