Application of gis in optimization of solid waste collection route: a case study of Runda Estate In Nairobi
Vavu, Victor Nzalamu
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Collection and transportation of municipal solid waste (MSW) are vital elements of solid waste management system. They account for over 60% of operation costs. The cost of collection and transportation process include labour, fuel and maintenance of machinery and equipment. Waste management actors require developing methods to improve their overall efficiency. Use of GIS where features are located geospatially may enhance efficiency of waste collection by identifying cost savings and establishing the most efficient travel route. This study evaluated the use of GIS in optimization of collection and transport of municipal solid waste from residential homes within Runda Estate in Nairobi, Kenya. The study obtained background spatial information that included the road network, existing routes used by the waste collection vehicles and location of waste bins for route optimization using GIS. The data was represented by numerical values in a geographic coordinate system and transferred into GIS database and organized into digital maps through thematic layers. The existing collection system efficiency was evaluated for overall travel distance, time and cost. The system was then optimized for waste collection route in the Estate to obtain the most efficient collection route that minimized u-turns and overlaps. The optimized route reduced the existing travel time and distance by 5% due to restriction on collection route rules that included avoidance of existing overlaps. The relatively small improvement in collection route efficiency percent indicated that the existing route has been well thought by the service providers but would, nevertheless, benefit from route optimization. Other benefits of the optimized route included reduced CO2 emissions, hours of work and trucks wear and maintenance. This study established the use of Geographical Information System (GIS) based approach as a supportive tool for optimization of solid waste collection routes.