Director of Public Works & Engineering (retired)
City of Kissimmee, Fla.
Population served: 63,000
Budget: $20 million to $33 million
Favorite technology: Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
Under David Derrick’s leadership, the department’s sanitation division was one of the first in the area to fully automate its fleet in the late 1990s. The city’s residential solid waste, yard waste, and recycling collection services are among the least expensive in the region, and residents reap the benefits of one of Florida’s most modern automated systems with roll-out carts for garbage, recycling, and yard waste.
The city-issued carts are equipped with RFID tags and are currently tracked with mobile, handheld computers. Each unit scans a tag’s barcode technology to capture data in the field, and send that information back to a Web-based host server. The data shows whether a container is at home, being used, receiving maintenance, lost, or returned back to inventory. This year, the sanitation division plans to install RFID readers on all refuse vehicles.
The RFID units allow managers to monitor what customers are doing so they can adjust work flow, routes, manpower, and vehicle needs quickly and efficiently. Plus, marketing and public education can be directed to areas that need the most attention. “There’s also an option for electronic reporting of required CDL pre- and post-trip inspections,” Derrick says.
“My hope is that we will eventually be able to charge a customer for each and every pickup the vehicles make, versus the current model where everyone is charged the same no matter what they dispose of. This will let managers charge different rates for different commodities based on their value or disposal costs.”
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