Rubicon partners with New Mexico city to boost recycling rates

Santa Fe, New Mexico's Environmental Services Division to incorporate Rubicon technology in its hauling fleet.

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Rubicon Global, a cloud-based company that provides methods designed to improve recycling efforts, has launched a public-private partnership with the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, designed to help the city boost its environmental leadership and enhance its residential and commercial waste and recycling services.

Through the program, scheduled to begin by the end of April and to run for six months, Santa Fe will use Rubicon’s technology platform, including its mobile app and desktop vendor software. The technology pilot program will provide data to Santa Fe and enable it to assess landfill diversion and recycling rates, as well as to improve its services, Rubicon says.

“Rubicon’s technology is enabling cities to achieve better service for citizens and improve quality of life by making communities more sustainable,” says Michael Allegretti, Rubicon head of public policy. “Santa Fe has long been a center of government innovation, and this partnership is an example of its ongoing commitment to environmental leadership.”

“We are excited to partner with Rubicon to use technology to enhance our waste and recycling services,” says Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales. “Santa Fe has long been committed to sustainability and conservation. This Smart Cities solution will boost the ability to meet our ambitious goals and deliver best in class customer service to our citizens.”

Smartphones loaded with Rubicon’s hauler mobile app will be placed in Santa Fe’s fleet of more than 40 residential and commercial waste and recycling vehicles. The trucks service 29,300 residential and 2,500 commercial locations. Santa Fe’s Environmental Services Division also will use Rubicon’s desktop vendor portal that works with the mobile app to create operational efficiency, improve customer service and will lead to savings for taxpayers, the company says. 

Allegretti says Rubicon's app will serve as the eyes and ears for the city to measure the operational efficiency of its EDS, as well as capturing data to better inform decisions on public policy and expenditures. "For example, by measuring which households and communities are leading or lagging in recycling habits, the city can design and develop better recycling educational programs," he says. 

The technology will provide Santa Fe with planning data, most notably by enabling real-time information on current landfill diversion and recycling rates. The data will help Santa Fe understand how to better focus its recycling education efforts, measure the carbon avoidance from recycling activities and determine vehicle emission reduction targets in the city’s waste fleet through route optimization and other features.

"Tech-enabled optimization means better routing decisions for the city haulers/trucks to ensure the most efficient processes, thereby saving fuel and reducing time on the road for the drivers," Allegretti says. "It can also identify how each hauler/truck is performing and inform how equipment is performing. In addition, it can log not only pickups, but which bins were missing when the trucks arrived, to help make second pick-up trips more efficient, as well as influence citizen recycling behavior and good habits."

Rubicon works with public and private sector customers to find inefficiencies and cost-savings in their waste streams and to develop new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle material.