News in brief | CIWM Business Partner news round-up

Vision Techniques launches artificial intelligence safety solution

Continuing its ‘Summer of innovation’, Vision Techniques is unveiling the company’s latest safety solution – VT IRIS.

The multi-functional artificial intelligence tool can detect accidents, near-misses, PPE compliance and other on-site safety and security issues.

Using often under-utilised CCTV cameras, VT IRIS technology mines data captured, processes the images against the alert parameters configured, and automates workflows and reports on instances requiring attention.

Using the AI technology, businesses can prevent avoidable incidents, identify trends, apply remedial training, and implement safer and more cost-effective practices.

Examples of how the technology is being used includes PPE workwear compliance onsite, factory safe walk-way compliance, loading and unloading safe practice compliance and intruder identification.


Monmouthshire Council tags with MOBA to deliver a more efficient garden waste service

An overwhelming majority of councils throughout the UK operate a paid-for garden waste collection service. One of these is Monmouthshire Council, which has long since operated such a service but has increasingly found that managing permits was both cumbersome and expensive.

Now, the council has partnered with waste technology specialists MOBA to trial a new service that dispenses with paper permits and, instead, enables its waste vehicles to immediately identify which customers bins have been paid for, and those that have not.

‘At the end of 2019, we decided to move away from the bags in favour of a simpler, more environmentally friendly, and more cost- effective service,’ explains Senior Collections Officer for Monmouthshire Council, Dewi Lane.

‘The permits were an issue, and they cost us a considerable amount of money – up to £30,000 a year to print and post them to customers. They were not very sustainable either, so we decided to swap to a wheeled bin service.’

A technology solution was needed to enable the council to achieve this and so went to the market in 2020 in search of willing partners to take on the challenge. ‘We ultimately chose MOBA because they offered a simple, straightforward process for managing the bins’ says Dewi. ‘The price was very reasonable, and they were all singing from the right hymn sheet.’

In addition to a paperless service, Dewi says that there will also be considerable cost savings. Previously, permits were printed and posted out to each resident, which would have cost the council £300,000 over a decade. ‘The MOBA system will cost us a little bit more money in the first year, but it will save us a great deal over the lifetime of the bins’.

MOBA has now implemented its RFID systems on two of the council’s collection vehicles so far, with a further four vehicles being added over the next year.

Each bin is also chipped so that once the bin is presented to the vehicle, readers on both sides of the lifters will independently check each bin to ensure its valid before it is emptied, without any hold-ups or loss of time.

If the readers identify any issues with the bin, it will stop the lifter and flash the crew’s red light. The staff will know that the bin has been blocked for some reason and the team will return the bin to the curbside. Council management can then investigate reasons why it has not been emptied; with the likelihood being that the customer no longer has a valid subscription.

This system now ensures that only paying customers’ bins are collected. Once a customer stops paying for the service, their bin goes on the blacklist, and this is then communicated to all vehicles.

Should a blacklisted bin be picked up, the override system will prevent it from being emptied. Customers will be moved back onto the green list when they renew their subscriptions at the start of the new season.

According to Dewi, ‘If a customer reports that their bin has not been collected, Monmouthshire can double-check that the subscription has been paid for and if the customer is on the correct list. This enables the service to be run more effectively and efficiently, creating cost savings for the council.’

‘We are still very much in the inception phase of this project. Our garden waste service operates on an annual subscription model from February to November. At the end of November, when we stop garden waste collection, we will blacklist all the microchips in customers’ bins. Next year, around February, when we start collecting again, we will start to greenlight those chips as and when people register for the service.’

MOBA’s Managing Director, Stuart Sargeant, explains that moving customers on and off the list is easily managed through the RFID system, with the added benefit of providing real-time and collection data to Dewi and his team.

‘The team can run reports from the system to see what has been collected, and queries can be resolved by checking a customer’s current status. For example, if a customer reports that their bin has not been collected, Monmouthshire can double-check that the subscription has been paid for and if the customer is on the correct list. This enables the service to be run more effectively and efficiently, creating cost savings for the council.’

The system will come into full operation in March 2022, once Monmouthshire’s vehicle replacement programme is complete.

Dewi explains: ‘When we re-start the service in early 2022, the chips will become necessary. Our crews in Caldicot have already got the readers on their vehicles and they have been carrying out the garden waste bin collection since March 2021. The Abergavenny and Monmouth crews receive their new vehicles in September, and MOBA will include the RIFD reading equipment then’.

‘MOBA worked very hard to get the microchips ready and to get the system up and running for us. They couldn’t have done any more. I think they have been excellent.’


Re-Gen Waste Ltd chooses TOMRA sensor-based technology to transform sorting processes

TOMRA Recycling’s sensor-based sorting solutions have been chosen to upgrade the processing and quantity of recycled fractions at its materials recycling facility (MRFs) in Northern Ireland.

Re-Gen Waste Ltd provides local authorities across the UK and Ireland with dry mixed recycling (DMR) and residual waste services.

Ten of the latest generation TOMRA AUTOSORT units were recently installed at its Newry site MRF as part of a multi-million-pound upgrade, representing an investment of more than £4m in sensor-based sorting technology.

The upgraded equipment will focus on two key lines for Re-Gen. It will increase the quantity of fibre and paper materials and will boost the output of plastic fractions, enabling Re-Gen to move from its current mixed plastics output to more refined, higher purity single stream plastics fractions. Furthermore, with the new equipment in plant, Re-Gen will benefit from reduced operational costs.

TOMRA’s new equipment focuses on enhancing the sorting process. Previously, the Re-Gen facility used a series of disc screens and other mechanical sorting equipment, complemented by manned quality control points.

The equipment combines near infrared (NIR) and visual spectrometers (VIS) to quickly and accurately recognise and separate different materials according to their material type and colour, extracting high-purity high-value end fractions that command higher market prices.

Re-Gen has also chosen to take advantage of TOMRA Insight, TOMRA’s secure, nearly real-time and on-demand cloud-based data monitoring platform. The platform enables customers to turn their sorters into connected devices and help maximise plant throughput, boost sorting performance and optimise output quality.

Re-Gen will get secure access from desktop and mobile devices to digital metrics on the status and performance of their sorters.

Joseph Doherty, Managing Director at Re-Gen Waste, comments: “We are particularly impressed with the addition of TOMRA Insight which will provide us with invaluable in-depth digital metrics and data about the status, performance and operation of our sorting equipment and the material waste composition it detects. If something can be measured, it can be optimised and this technology is helping us to do that.

“We can quickly understand what materials are coming in and how they are changing due to COVID-19 and the enactment of Government policies. We can feed back to local authorities to help them understand where contamination is coming from and, in turn, provide more targeted recycling information to householders.”


Canenco selects Epic for new fleet livery

The Canterbury Environment Company (Canenco) selected EPIC Media Group to provide the livery for its refuse fleet as part of its domestic refuse collection service which launched in February this year.

EPIC’s changeable graphics system was the preferred method of livery, thanks to the flexibility it will afford Canenco which is wholly owned by Canterbury City Council. The changeable banner means that Canenco can change its messaging to reflect its latest campaign making it a valuable communications tool.

The system has been installed on 25 refuse collection vehicles and two box vans, while the remainder of the fleet will be fitted with high-quality complementary vinyl graphics. The installation of the graphics took place at the Canterbury depot to minimise the impact on the refuse collection service.

David Maidman, Director at Canenco said: “We can be a busy site here in Canterbury with a lot of vehicle movements throughout the day, the EPIC team worked with us from start to finish and nothing was too much trouble, fantastic service and attitudes.”

Kevin Murton, Managing Director of EPIC Media Group said: “It’s great to see so many councils seeing the benefits of fitting our changeable graphics system to their refuse vehicles. We are delighted to have installed it on Canenco’s new fleet and we look forward to working with their team on their future graphic change outs.”


SFS supplies Smart low-carbon buses to NHS

As part of a new contract hire agreement Northampton-based fleet management company Specialist Fleet Services ltd (SFS) has supplied Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust with three, 9.2m 34-seater low-carbon Enviro200 buses, all fitted with CCTV and Traffilog telematics.

SFS Head of Tenders, Paul Connor, said: “We’re thrilled to have be chosen by Epsom & St Helier NHS Trust to provide the new bus fleet.  Having operated a workshop in Epsom since 2005, our local team are delighted to be supporting the Trust who deliver such vital services across the region”

Gerry Hocking, Transport Manager, Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust: “We are delighted with the excellent service from SFS. They have been extremely accommodating and the engineers at their local Epsom workshop have been very helpful.”

The buses will be used on the H1 staff shuttle between the Trust’s Epsom and Sutton hospital locations and were manufactured by Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. ADL is a global leader in the design and manufacture of double deck buses and the UK’s largest bus and coach manufacturer.

Mark Taylor, ADL Sales Account Manager, said: “These are excellent quality, low-emission vehicles and will be a great asset to the NHS trust. We’d like to thank SFS for their order and look forward to working with them further in the future.”

Established in 1992, SFS has a successful track record in delivering fleet and workshop management solutions to local authorities and the private sector and runs a network of workshops across the UK as well as operating its own municipal vehicle hire division, CTS Hire.

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