Fresh Views on the Matter of Garbage

Waste compactor monitor technology can make a positive impact on the environment, productivity, sales efforts and the bottom-line.

Jay Simon

Searching for one’s roots has become an interesting pastime for a lot of folks. One idea behind all this searching is that if we know where we came from, then we might know where we are going. The waste industry has its own interesting roots. A caveman took the dinner bones and smelly skins and dumped them in a hole some distance away from his cave. The first solid waste landfill! Another caveman offered to transport the dinner bones and smelly skins to the landfill for a fee of two arrowheads. The first hauler!

Now that we know where we came from, let’s turn the calendar ahead thousands of years.

We still have garbage, landfills and haulers. The caveman has been replaced by millions of home dwellers and business facilities, creating millions of tons of much more ‘sophisticated’ garbage. That lone hauler was the forerunner of a huge waste industry—picking up, transporting and storing garbage. How far has the waste industry come? A long way. More than 180,000 waste collection and recycling trucks hit the pavement in the U.S. each and every day. They haul about 1.5 million tons of waste and recyclable materials to refuse sites on a daily basis.

What does the future of trash management look like for the trash generators and the waste industry? What new challenges does the waste industry have to face? There is increased government control, globalization, increase in competition, rising and falling economies, rising cost of doing business, and the continuing need for cost-savings and profit. These challenges are being faced and met by leaders in the waste industry, on a daily basis.

However, today, the challenge is to create a cleaner, more eco-friendly environment while reducing cost—something that has taken center stage.

New Attitudes

In very recent years, trash has acquired a new identity and has become an important subject for corporate lunch tables and boardroom meetings. It all stems from a new green attitude toward the environment and concern for our planet. That new attitude is the result of the agreement between governments, scientists and heads of corporations declaring that we must set new goals to make all industries act more responsibly in the matter of protecting the environment.

Someone once said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” That might have been the case for our caveman, but things are moving too rapidly today and things can’t stay the same. The waste industry is stepping up to its responsibilities by being innovative and changing methods of using landfills, recycling and hauling. These changes will be positive for the ecology and for the waste industry. They can combine into a powerful force.

One important and effective means of achieving the goal of a cleaner environment is the reduction of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases emitted from thousands of haulers’ trucks on the road. Scheduled pickups of industrial waste compactors are popular because they are convenient. Because the waste compactor containers are not always full or close to it, a great many of the scheduled pickups are unnecessary. Technology must fill a critical need to reduce the frequency—and increase the efficiency—of pickups of industrial waste compactor containers. It seems apparent that if we are going to make waste streams a more efficient operation, monitoring technology is going to have to be part of the solution As an added positive result, the hauler’s more effective use of manpower and equipment will improve his bottom line.

Monitoring Systems

The great news is that the technology for helping to bring the pickup process into the green world is already available. Automated waste compactor monitors are the most effective and efficient means of doing a job better, at significant savings for the hauler and their customers.

Monitor systems provide the waste industry with the most innovative means to track, record and report on how efficiently the industrial waste compactor is operating and its level of container fullness. “Intelligent’ monitors use digital technology to accurately recognize and automatically report the compactor container fullness levels. Monitors automatically send on-time pick up requests to haulers via e-mail or fax. Other reports show pickup dates and identify when compactor containers are emptied. All this information can be viewed and reviewed on the Internet. Information can be used for tighter management control and, if needed, for billing. Monitor manufacturers are committed to improving the roll-off process with ongoing product research and development.

The eco-friendly aspect is that containers will be picked-up only when the volume of trash has reached a pre-determined full level. This equates to fewer trucks on the road carrying half-empty containers. Dispatchers can now do a much better job of managing the use of trucks and manpower to optimum advantage.

Better Customer Service

To add to the mix of doing things a new way, monitor technology can be used by the haulers as a sales tool to offer the customer better on-time service, reduced waste removal cost and a greener footprint for their compactors. There is no longer any need for customer’s employees to ‘check’ on the full level of a compactor container, guess at how full it is and then orchestrate a call to the hauler for a pick up. Automation relieves personnel to be used in more productive areas. If the call to the hauler isn’t made on a timely basis, overflow of trash around a compactor can be an invitation to rats and other pests. Automated pickup requests eliminate that problem. In addition, fewer trucks on facility sites offer a good safety feature for customers. When the hauler can offer a customer this package of significant improvements in their waste removal, he has a great sales edge to keep existing customers and add new ones.

Return on Investment

From a financial perspective, when purchasing a monitor, the ROI is usually a matter of months. Monthly fee arrangements are available. From a green perspective, these factors combine to reduce overall cost of managing trash for both the hauler and his commercial customer—and to take concern for the environment to a new level. As a valuable side benefit, there are monitor options that include an automated diagnostic capability. This results in a reduction in the considerable expense incurred in waste compactor downtime. Malfunction alerts, when received early enough, eliminate expensive repairs. Haulers are notified when compactors are not working to optimum capability.

Baler Monitors

Baler monitors is another area for consideration. Use of balers to control discarding of millions of cartons every day is a major factor in the recycling process. Baler monitors are an important adjunct to making the balers more effective pieces of equipment. They ensure that only users of lawful age have access to use of the baler. The monitor automatically counts the number of bales made within any specified time frame—and contacts the hauler, requesting a pickup of the bales. The monitor makes eco-friendly recycling easier and more profitable for the hauler and the customer.

A Positive Outlook

Major retailers, malls, hospitals, residential complexes in the U.S. and Canada have already partnered with their haulers to benefit from the new waste compactor and baler monitor technology. Monitor numbers are increasing as awareness of green technology and of the important role played by haulers become more widespread. Waste compactor monitor technology can make a positive impact on the environment, productivity, sales efforts and the bottom-line.

There are exciting and challenging new days ahead for the waste industry—but with use of the tools provided by technology, the outlook for the industry and for the ecology is very bright and positive.

Jay Simon is President of the One Plus Corp (Northbrook, IL). One Plus manufactures and sells the Waste Edge line of waste compactor monitors and baler monitors Their monitors are used at major retailers like Lowe’s, Hyatt Hotels, healthcare facilities, malls, schools, correctional institutes, manufacturing facilities and by major haulers nationwide. Their cost-saving, eco-friendly products have won respect from customers all over the U.S. and Canada. For more information visit or