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Waterloo installing RFID’s on garbage bins, to improve trash pick-up

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - After receiving multiple complaints of trash bins being picked up, misplaced, or stolen, the Waterloo Sanitation Department is installing RFID tags on city garbage bins.

RFID stands for radio frequency identification and is made up of tags and readers. In this case, the city is installing blue tags, and the tags will connect to the department's database to allow drivers to scan garbage bins and mark off pick-ups as completed during their routes.

Sanitation Director, Scott Brunson, said this will help with detecting stolen garbage bins, but it will install an accountability system for both drivers and residents.

"It will also give us a turn-by-turn analysis of how they run their routes and how much mileage or fuel they're using," Brunson said, "it's going to help us improve route efficiency and making sure the drivers are running the routes."

Brunson also said the RFID's can also help if residents were confused about trash pick-up dates.

"If it's not out, then they can just hit a button that says the cart's not out, or if it's overloaded," Brunson said, "we can take a picture of it so we can have a record of it for the residents so we can help them correct any issues they have such as the lid being propped open or if it's turned around, that sort of thing."

The department is in the process of installing RFID tags in residents' garbage bins, and Brunson said it'll be three to four months before every garbage bin is tagged.

The department is asking residents to leave their carts curbside until 2 p.m., to assist in RFID tag installations. However, if your bin's serial number starts with an "S" or an "R", and RFID is already embedded in the mold and does not need a tag.

If you're wondering when RFID's will be applied in your area, follow the department's Facebook page for updates.

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Alaina Kwan

Morning Reporter

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