Solid Waste & Recycling


Baltimore overhauls its garbage collection

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB) last week announced that it had completed the re-routing of the...

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB) last week announced that it had completed the re-routing of the residential trash collection system for the City of Baltimore, Maryland using FleetRouteTM route optimization software.

The route optimization project, which will result in significant labor, fuel, equipment and maintenance savings, was provided through a contract with the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority (NMWDA). For this effort, GBB teamed with technology partner C2logix to provide the city with a unique combination of solid waste and IT expertise.

Baltimore has an estimated population of 630,000 with 190,000 households serviced by the Department of Public Works (DPW) trucks and crews. Before the re-routing project, the DPW collected refuse twice a week from each residence, with approximately 63 trucks operating six days a week for a total of 214 routes. The DPW also collected recycling twice a month.

“In 2009, the GBB FleetRouteTM Service Bureau developed five alternative conceptual route scenarios. Each of these optimized the routes, workdays, and equipment allocation, and analyzed cost savings,” said Frank Bernheisel, GBB vice president. “This in-depth analysis provided the City with the necessary tools to make an informed decision regarding changes in its collection operation and will allow for significant collection cost reductions for the City while improving services to residents with a more efficient operation.”

The project included refining the geocoding of customers on the GIS maps, while also identifying those that require collection in alleys. In addition, the street centerline data was expanded to add alleys and travel attributes (such as speeds, one-ways, overpasses/underpasses, etc.) that were not included in the city GIS baseline.

The analysis indicated that the change in the collection system could save about $6 million a year. City council approved the change and the new collection program began on July 13, 2009.

The new program provides one trash collection and one recycling collection each week for the single-family residences in Baltimore. Collections are made Tuesday through Friday.

GBB is a national solid waste management consulting firm founded in 1980 that works on solid waste collection, processing, recycling and disposal issues and assists in planning, procuring, and implementing sound, cost-effective facilities and services at the local, state, and national levels for both the public and private sectors.

For more information on the firm and its products and services, visit or call 1-800-573-5801.

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