Truck sizing models for recyclables pick-up

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Growing public concerns about the environmental consequences of waste disposal have led to an increase in recycling efforts. In many communities, curbside collection programs have been instituted for collecting recyclables from households for transfer to material recovery facilities. In most programs the cost of collection is the dominant cost. Despite the high cost and environmental importance of collecting recyclables from households, most municipal collection systems are designed and operated without a clear understanding of what factors drive those costs and how they might be reduced. In this paper, models for determining truck configurations, as well as optimal compartment sizes for recyclables collection are developed. Constraints arising from the operation of the trucks are formulated, and solution schemes are presented. In addition, a procedure for optimally partitioning a vehicle used to collect source-separated material is discussed. Several scenario based planning approaches are developed. Use of the truck sizing models as an industry decision tool and the associated benefits of applying the truck sizing models and the solution methodology to a contract based collection program are also discussed. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Computers and Industrial Engineering