Pantelis Noë, director of Netherlands-based routing software services provider Jewel, says new policies and directives quickly become challenges to be addressed by his company and its customers. Noe provided an overview of recycling logistics challenges at a seminar at Eco Expo Asia 2017, which took place in late October in Hong Kong.
Noë told attendees Jewel is not typically involved in policy matters, “but if policy changes, so does the operation” he said of the recycling and waste management companies Jewel serves with truck routing optimization software.
Many municipal solid waste (MSW) and recycling collection routes in the Netherlands offer containers for four streams: 1) paper; 2) packaging; 3) organics; and 4) residuals, which typically around for an incinerator. This multi-bin system is “very elaborate,” said Noë, but, “it works quite good.”
He said different municipalities will collect each of these streams on different timetables, and that disincentives toward disposal often means the residuals stream is the one least often collected.
When it comes to routing, Noë said Jewel can use some existing map information, but it also must customize routing because trucks may not be welcome on some roads, and conditions change on an hourly basis because of weather and construction projects. The Jewel system, he said, “captures this knowledge” and updates digital maps constantly.
Noë also recommended waste audits for municipalities, so they can best assess where more recycling information can be helpful and how often to collect each of the four streams. He said “reliable data in your waste streams” can help recyclers verify trends such as a reduction of paper in the MSW stream.
Taro Ikawa of Japan-based Daio Engineering Co. Ltd. told Eco Expo Asia attendees the recycling equipment company for which he works was developed as a subsidiary of Daio Paper, which now has some 35 companies in its corporate group.
Among the Daio Engineering equipment gaining popularity are automated optical sorting devices for plastics and metals. Daio is finding applications for the devices among recyclers of electronic scrap and end-of-life vehicles.
Ikawa said Japan overall is moving away from landfilling and incineration and is focusing both on recycling and on energy conversion for some discarded materials.
Eco Expo Asia 2017 was Oct. 26-29 at the AsiaWorld-Expo convention center in Hong Kong. It was organized by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council and the Hong Kong office of Germany-based Messe Frankfurt.