The Smart Waste & Recycling Solution

Kutztown University

Project Description

Case Study: Kutztown University


Cutting Collections

Kutztown University’s Assistant VP of Facilities Maintenance & Construction Jeff Grimm first learned about the Bigbelly solution at an Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) conference. The most interesting aspect of the solution was the ability to reduce how frequently staff would have to visit waste receptacle locations.

The University started with one station in early 2009 and placed it in an area that had previously required 2-3 trips per day to keep up with the volume of waste. Once the Bigbelly was placed there, that was slashed to once or twice per week.

Many members of the campus community were interested in the technology and looked at it as a bit of a novelty, but the science department and campus environmental groups took particular notice.

Over the following years, the campus has expanded its deployment to 24 stations, funding the purchases out of the Facilities Division’s budget. The project has been handled completely by the Facilities Division, although it was explained to the Board of Trustees.

High Traffic Targets

“The up-front costs are definitely balanced out with labor savings,” said Will Meeker, Assistant Director of Campus Services. “The ROI is occurring more quickly than expected.” The University has placed most of the stations in high-traffic areas, near food points and where students tend to congregate. The goal was to free up 50-75% of a staff position that could be allocated to other pressing needs around campus.

The University has found the CLEAN Management Console to be a major contributing factor to those efficiencies, Meeker noted. “Now we don’t even check the units unless prompted by the software on our computer.”

Reducing Overtime

“Now we don’t even check the units unless prompted by the software on our computer.” To date, the University has not encountered any problems with the system and has installed the stations in a way that makes it easy to move them – providing flexibility for capacity planning and resource optimization.

“When we have big events we can move several to the area to reduce overtime costs,” Meeker added.

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