News and Updates
Yard Waste Collection Pilot Study Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the City performing this pilot study?
City crews collect yard waste by driving up and down 411 miles of streets each week looking for yard waste placed curbside for collection. Not every street has yard waste to be collected. This collection method wastes fuel and time by needlessly driving those streets without yard waste.
If City crews know yard waste locations before they start their collection routes, they can drive directly to those locations. Streets without yard waste would no longer be traveled, reducing fuel consumption and operation and maintenance expenses for the solid waste fleet.
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Do you need special equipment to locate yard waste materials?
Yes we do. We will use a data collection system called Mobile311. Mobile311 is a web and phone application that allows crew members access to the City’s service order system from their vehicle. Mobile311 is loaded onto a smart phone or electronic tablet equipped with data service only, allowing crew members in the field to create, manage, and complete service orders. Data entered by collection crews becomes available to our Customer Care Center within minutes, and eliminates hours of manual data entry and the resulting delay in data availability.
Tablet mounted in truck used to locate yard waste from the field.
How do you locate yard waste for collection?
The truck mounted tablet uses satellite data to locate the position of yard waste materials and link the data to the house address. Simply pressing a button while stopped in front of the house locates the material, creates the necessary service order, and uploads the data to the City’s database.
The data is available immediately and will be used by City yard waste collection crews to guide them to each location.
A push of the button and the yard waste is located and entered into the database.
Who will be locating the yard waste materials placed curbside for collection?
Waste Pro will locate yard waste using their garbage collection trucks.
Waste Pro garbage collection truck drivers will locate yard waste materials as they stop to collect garbage carts. The location data is displayed on a digital map for assignment to individual collection trucks.
City collection crews will start on a one day delay, knowing in advance where materials are located. This advanced information should yield cost reductions by improving route efficiency.
Why is it important for residents to place their yard waste at the curb on their garbage collection day, if the City will be starting with a one day delay?
Waste Pro will be locating yard waste as they collect garbage carts throughout the City. If a resident delays putting their yard waste out it will not be located. City crews, unaware of the yard waste location may overlook the late putouts. During periods of high work load, residents who put their yard waste out late may have to wait until their next collection day for service. Having your yard waste out by 7 AM on your garbage collection day assures you will receive service.
If the City starts one day behind Waste Pro, will Friday’s collections occur on Saturday?
NO, all collections will be completed by Friday evening. This pilot study was designed to minimize inconvenience to our customers and to not require any change in their current solid waste practices. City crews will be working a 4 day week, with 10 hour days. We give Waste Pro a head start, but we know toward the end of the week, we will catch up and pass them. After we pass them, we will return to our practice of driving every street looking for un-located yard waste and will not stop until we finish collecting our Friday customers. There will be no Saturday collections except for garbage, recycling and bulky waste collection during the week of Labor Day.
How do I know when my yard waste will be collected?
Some customers may be collected on a one day delay. However, it is very important to continue putting your yard waste at the curb by or before 7 AM on your garbage collection day.
When do I call to report a missed yard waste collection?
Because some customers will be collected on a one day delay, we ask that you wait until 5 PM the day after your regular garbage collection day to call 704-920-5555 to report a missed collection. If your collection day is Monday, call after 5 PM Tuesday afternoon. If your collection day is Tuesday or Wednesday, call after 5 PM on Wednesday or Thursday respectively. However, if your collection day is Thursday, call Friday morning to report a miss. If your collection day is Friday, call first thing Monday morning.
How long will this pilot program last?
Ten weeks, beginning August 6 and will conclude October 19, just before loose leaf season begins. Labor Day comes during this study, so due to the shortened week, the collection process will follow the Holiday schedule, where all residents place their yard waste curbside by 7 AM, Tuesday September 4. City yard waste crews will begin Tuesday and work as fast as possible to finish on Friday. Garbage and Recycling and Bulky collections will operate on a one day delay that week, with Monday customers receiving collection on Tuesday and Friday customers receiving pickup on Saturday.
What does the data look like to the collection crews?
The located yard waste is shown on an interactive map and each location is shown by a color coded dot to guides the collection truck to where they must go next. As each location is collected, the dot is removed, but remains visible until it is collected so no location will be overlooked.
The screen display showing locations of yard waste to be collected.
Can this information be used for more than locating waste?
Yes, the route each truck follows can be monitored, and we can determine the time required at each stop, how much time is spent going to the composting facility, and any other information we believe is important to track. The data will help us monitor workloads that vary seasonally as well as daily. Analyzing the data, we hope to be able to assign only the number of collection vehicles needed, based on the number of locations identified on the map.
Each collection vehicle’s route will be analyzed and data collected. Their data will establish operating parameters, allowing staff to evaluate other potential operating scenarios for cost savings while maintaining excellent service.
Data collected over the 10 week study can also be used to evaluate other operating scenarios.
What will happen to all these tablets when the pilot study is completed?
The tablets and Mobile311 will continue to be used at regular intervals to evaluate collection efficiency, work load variations, and the locations where the heaviest yard waste is generated. The system has the flexibility to allow us to use it for evaluating other collection services.
How do the Citizens of Concord benefit for this study and using Mobile311?
Concord is using technology to increase efficiency and productivity without having to add new personnel and equipment. Doing more with less helps keep taxes low while maintaining the high level of service our customers expect. This technology has tremendous potential and will provide these immediate benefits:
- The ability to create, manage, and close service orders from the field will save countless hours of manual entry time performed by office personnel. The time saved can be used for more productive tasks or to provide other departments with needed support.
- Prompt uploading of data will allow the Customer Care Center personnel to know when a street was serviced and where the collection trucks are located. Customers concerned about when their materials will be collected can receive a more accurate estimate based on truck locations. Information on why some materials were not collected will be available when the customer calls in, allowing Customer Service personnel to provide an accurate explanations and describe corrective actions needed before collection can occur.
- Increased efficiencies in collection truck routing can potentially save the City many thousands of dollars each month through fuel savings. Reducing the miles driven results in less wear and tear on collection vehicles, lowering maintenance expenses for additional savings.
- Data provided to managers will allow them to evaluate program performance, and to continually evaluate service delivery. Potential changes in operations can be evaluated in advance using the data provided by this new technology.
We've rolled-out improvements!
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Recycling Gift Wrap
Used paper gift bags, gift wrap & tissue paper can be recycled. Simply place these items in curbside recycle bins. Plastic & foil bags and wrap are not accepted.
Please remember to re-use before recycling!
Scheduling required for bulk metal, appliance, and tire collection effective January 1, 2011
Effective January 1, 2011, the City of Concord will require that all residents call the Customer CARE Center (704-920-5555) to schedule the curbside collection of bulk metal (disassembled swing sets, bicycles, metal bed frames, etc.), old appliances (white goods), and used tires. Although the City of Concord has encouraged residents to schedule the collection of these items for some time, scheduling becomes mandatory in 2011. Items left on curb and not scheduled for collection could lead to code enforcement penalties for property owners.
Currently, two trucks serve Concord citizens in collecting these items. “By requiring citizens to schedule the collection of metal, appliances, and tires, we can eliminate the need for one of our two trucks. The retirement of one coworker during this year will allow us to eliminate his position, consolidate our operations, and move the truck into reserve status,” said Allen Scott, Director of Solid Waste Services. “With the cooperation of our citizens, this simple change will save the City 30,000 miles of driving, 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and approximately $55,000 annually.”
Banned from NC Landfills
For more specific information on and detailed definitions of items banned from NC landfills, please visit p2pays.org/BannedMaterials/index.asp
The following items are currently banned from NC landfills:
- Used Oil
- White Goods
- Yard Trash (unleass the landfill is specifically authorized to accept yard trash)
- Aluminum Cans
- Whole Scrap Tires
- Lead-Acid Batteries
- Plastic Bottles
- Recyclable Rigid Plastic Containers
- Wooden Pallets
- Oil Filters
- Oyster Shells
- Discarded Computer Equipment and Televisions