City of Montgomery implements new technology in sanitation trucks

City of Montgomery implements new technology in sanitation trucks
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The City of Montgomery is adding the sanitation department to its repertoire of “smart city” resources.

The city announced Tuesday it’s entered into a three year contract with technology company Rubicon Global to equip more than 60 City vehicles with software designed to improve performance, reduce maintenance costs and enhance residential and commercial sanitation service.

According to the city, the platform includes a phone-based mobile app, a plug-in device and a web portal allowing the City’s Sanitation Department to track key metrics, like service confirmations, missed pickups and issues at the curb. The City’s Fleet Management Department will then harvest that data to track vehicle usage and maintenance needs in real-time.

The system allows the driver to notify the city if they have an issue along their route, whether it’s sanitation-related or something else.

“As these vehicles are traveling up and down the street to collect the trash, they’re also looking for nuisances, quality of life issues that the city can go and re mediate," explained Michael Allegretti, Chief Strategy Officer, Rubicon Global. “What if the bin isn’t out? What if the garbage is contaminated? What if it’s blocked by a truck? What if there’s some other reason that your trash couldn’t be picked up? The men and women on the front lines of your department of public works, your sanitation department, noted the reason why. They often took a picture to back that up.”

This contract stems from a successful six-month pilot program launched in 2018. City leaders say that pilot period already saved them tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs.

“Not only are we saving staff time and taxpayer dollars with Rubicon, but this is an essential part of our overall Smart City strategy that ensures our sanitation and fleet organizations work smarter, not harder, to enhance our residential and commercial services,” Mayor Todd Strange said. “It is another investment that will pay dividends for future growth and development by affecting overall quality of life in the Capital of Dreams.”

The City of Montgomery also announced a two year extension of its partnership with an artificial intelligence based program that provides analysis of Montgomery’s road paving needs. That program pinpoints road issues and defects that could snowball into larger issues.

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