A multi commodity recyclables collection model using partitioned vehicles

Natali Mohanty, University of Rhode Island


This study identifies fundamental problems in the operation of recyclables collection services and develops a model for optimizing the associated logistics operations. Based on an analysis of data of types of materials and volumes collected from a collaborating recycling services company which uses partitioned vehicles, it is clear that operation and transportation costs, and collection volumes are the dominant factors that determine profitability in the commercial recycling business. Although recycling operations and distribution (forward) operations share many characteristics, decisions related to fleet configuration and operation for the former are significantly more complicated because of the wide dispersal of similar materials to be collected. As part of this study an instance of the fleet configuration and routing problem that employs partitioned trucks has been developed. A mathematical programming model for optimizing the decisions is formulated and solutions with test data sets obtained. The model can be used to formulate reverse supply chain strategies as well as in the design of routes for recyclables collection and transportation. Computational tests using this model to assess the utility of partitioned vehicles in reducing the collection cost have been conducted, and these results indicate the relative efficiency of using partitioned vehicles, each capable of collecting multiple materials separately, versus non-partitioned vehicles, each dedicated to a single material. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Industrial|Operations Research

Recommended Citation

Natali Mohanty, "A multi commodity recyclables collection model using partitioned vehicles" (2005). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3186916.