Waste management is a very important issue for every city, as it has a direct impact on the health and image of a place. It is an issue that is a constant priority for the municipality of Pedasí as it constantly strives to appropriately manage the waste in its growing district.
This year the GIS and environment specialist Guy Maurice spent three performing research and consulting work with the Pedasí Mayor’s Office, seeking to improve local garbage collection routes. Guy collected data through his participation in the weekly routes of the two collection vehicles, monitoring the behavior patterns of garbage collectors and drivers, and recording GPS data to determine the distances traveled by each of the vehicles in the five neighborhoods of Pedasí district, as well as counting each one of the stops that the vehicles make. The statistical results show that the distance of the routes can be reduced by 20%, in order to save time and money.
Among Guy’s recommendations for the Municipality of Pedasi are:
- Restructure garbage collection routes in a way that saves time and resources (e.g., reducing fuel use of each vehicle)
• Reduce the number of stops made in densely populated areas such as the center of Pedasí.
- Place collection centers in areas where the collection vehicle does not obstruct the route and the road is in good condition;
- Apply stricter controls in the landfill to prevent fires and improve the health of people living in the surrounding areas;
- Use composting methods and vermiculture for the areas of Venao where 60% of the waste is organic and it is inefficient to compact the waste and transport it to the landfill;
- Provide constant maintenance to collection vehicles planning visits to the mechanic;
- Standardizegarbage collection containers
- Prioritize reuse, reduction and recycling as a way to make waste management more sustainable. Even though resources are scarce, this is an important issue for the long-term sustainability of the district.
Guy’s study shows that urban planning and technology can help us increase the efficiency of everyday tasks such as garbage collection. However increasing efficiency requires a joint effort between governmental and non-governmental organizations and private individuals.
For more information on Guy’s research, please see his PowerPoint presentation.