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Cardiff Council’s upgrades Waste & Recycling Manager System with help from an Ikôn

A combination of functionality and ruggedness allows the Ikôn mobile computer from Psion Teklogix to play a key role in Cardiff Council's recently upgraded Waste & Recycling Manager System (WRMS) supplied by Waste & Recycling Solutions Ltd (WRS).

WRS supplies PDA or Truck Mounted data capture solutions that include barcode or CHIP reporting systems designed for the waste & recycling sector. The company's WRMS is a fully automated bin bar-coding system that generates letters to the public, to help educate residents to manage waste & recycling issues responsibly. The system also helps to improve health & safety for both residents and collection operators.

Cardiff Council has upgraded their WRMS as they continue to work towards dramatically improving the quality and quantity of recyclable materials collected from the kerbside via WRMS. Cardiff has already seen a significant improvement with a drop in health & safety issues relating to over-loading and side waste.

Cardiff Council's Waste Management department looks after 140,000 householders giving two wheelie bins to each: black for general waste and green for garden waste in addition to green bags for recycling.

Currently around 100 refuse collectors operate an easy to use barcode scanner to record issues with bins or bags such as contaminated recycling, over-loading, side waste or damaged bins. Once the issue is recorded the information is sent back to the central database at which time the system can be configured to automatically print a preformatted letter. The WRMS System can print letters with detailed educational information to residents relating to the issue identified by the collection crews. For repeat offenders the system can also be configured to identify second, third or fourth offences and automatically send related letters with either further education advice or escalated warning letters relating to possible enforcement action and fixed penalty notices.

For Enforcement Teams WRMS stores all issues, actions, tasks and letters with the date and time. This information can then be used to demonstrate reasonable effort has been made to inform and resolve issues with residents and an auditable trail can be provided should court action be required.

WRS has provided Cardiff Council with four fully integrated Psion Teklogix' Ikôn PDA devices for its supervisors and enforcement officers. The Ikôns link directly with WRMS providing automated task scheduling for home visits, inspections and much more. The Ikôns – which come equipped with a built in barcode scanner, colour camera and phone – update the WRMS via GPRS. Waste Recycling Solutions Ltd selected the Ikôn for use with the WRMS because of this device's rare combination of functionality and ruggedness. For example, a colour camera is required to identify the bins and Psion Teklogix' Ikôn is the only PDA to offer a colour, rather than mono, camera and an IP65 rating, which ensures the PDA is not affected by dust or water – an essential requirement for the WRMS. In fact all of the Ikôn's comprehensive features have proved to be of use on the WRMS.

Andrew Halse, Managing Director of Waste Recycling Solutions Ltd comments: “The Psion Teklogix ikôn is the ideal PDA for our WRMS. It is feature packed yet is the most robust industrial PDA on the market, having an IP 65 rating. It also has the highest battery life currently available on the market, which is essential for practical use in the field.”

Waste & Recycling Manager Systems, including Ikôns, are now being installed at a number of other councils and privately run collection companies – not only to help educate the public, but also to help councils to meet recycling targets and reduce office costs.

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