Waste management is a topic impacting everyone. May it be the need to recycle plastic waste in a better way to save our planet or just prevent littering on the side of the pavement.
While collection of regular household waste follows optimized routes, pick-up of bulky waste & electronics follows an on-demand scheme.
The city is divided into six collection districts for bulky waste & electronics. Every day of the week collection within a specific district is performed. Citizens request an appointment a few days ahead, which is confirmed by the waste service. Route optimization is performed by the drivers on a day-by-day basis. It is expected, that an automatic optimization considering additional factors like vehicle capacity, time of day, construction sites and others can improve routes and would allow to optimize size and location of the current collection districts.
The collection of bulky waste & electronics are performed by different vehicles. The districts are the same, but the routes differ because some collection appointments contain bulky waste and electronics, others only one of a kind.
The city of Herne in North Rhine-Westphalia has the 3rd highest population density in all of Germany (3,031/km2, 2015). Can modern data science and mathematical modeling support the current efforts of waste collection today? Besides common constraints like number of collection vehicles and their capacity, costs, additional information of weather, season, time of day, complaints by citizens, changes to population and social environment may be considered when calculation optimized routes and districts for bulky waste & electronics collection services.
A project duration of approximately 3 months is expected.