Waste collection is very complex logistics solution with a lot of stops, extreme dynamics in transport and challenging service through diferent patterns.
The method of collecting waste depends on the density of the population of a certain area, quantity of waste, the habits of people, legal regulations, traffic and urban planning. Within type of waste stream exists incredible complexity which makes it difficult to maintain a lean and efficient operation and tricky exceed customer expectations. The goal of optimizing the collection of waste is to reduce logistics costs and environmental impacts through efficient use of vehicles in eight hours of work and supply of different collection areas. The best results are achieved using a optimization tool that uses mathematical algorithms. If the collection and disposal of waste is carried out optimally, the costs are lower and the company that carries out this activity operates more economically.
In year 2017 we optimized collection of packaging (municipality Maribor, 1.189 locations). In year 2018 we optimized collection of paper (municipality Maribor, 1.689 locations) and also organic waste (all municipalities, 15.738 locations). The main stakeholders are citizens. The interest of the municipality is to provide the most economical and ecological collection processes for its citizens.

Resources needed

The main cost for optimization is investment in the software tool and the education of two employees. The costs of this project was 17,400.00 €. All other activities belong to the regular working hours of the employees (2 experts, 3 operational leaders, 4 drivers and 12 workers).

Evidence of success

Optimization of transport routes shows positive results that are measurable through the collected quantity per unit of time (hour). The time taken to collect waste is one of the most important parameters. After optimization in 2018 we collected 20 % more packaging per hour than a year before. In the comparable period (January-March), we collected in 2018, 7 % more paper per hour and 16 % more bio-waste per hour.

Potential for learning or transfer

Practice is interesting especially for larger utility companies, which cover several municipalities with a large number of residents, where door-to-door logistics are carried out for different fractions.
Company that chooses to perform optimization in this way should have an educated staff who will perform optimization processes with optimization tool. It must have reliable input data (time spent for driving and collecting waste, kilometers driven, number and volume of containers in a collection area, fullness of containers, collected waste volume, vehicle technical data, etc.). Experience and knowledge of collection areas are also very important.

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Main institution
Snaga d. o. o.
Vzhodna Slovenija, Slovenia (Slovenija)
Start Date
July 2019
End Date


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