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RFID Tags in Curbside Collection Bins

RFID Tags in Curbside Collection Bins

In June 2019, curbside collection crews will begin installing RFID (radio frequency identification) tags onto curbside collection bins.  

Residents often want to know when their garbage and recycling will be picked up. Sometimes routes are missed or bins are lost. This program will help us answer residents’ questions and provide better service. The program will also help us save money by reducing operational costs, such as fuel, time and decrease wear and tear on vehicles.

The program is not intended to track recycling activity. The purpose is to improve your curbside collection service and reduce costs. 

What to Expect

Beginning in May, as curbside collection crews empty your bins, a secondary crew will follow them to install and program the tags.  As your bins will already be out at the curb, all you need to do is follow your regular routine. 

Please keep bin placement and timing guidelines in mind, so your bins are to the curb by 7:30 a.m. on your collection day.   www.rmwb.ca/garbage

Should we need to enter onto your property to install and program your tag, a crew member will notify you to get permission and ensure you are aware of their presence.

These tags will be applied to all bins that are part of the curbside collection program. 

What are RFID tags?

RFID means radio frequency identification, which is a type of tracking system that uses smart barcodes to identify your bins. Each tag includes an antenna and microchip on a printed circuit. 

Once installed and programmed, curbside collection crews will be able to use a web-based system to track the bins. Eventually all of our waste collection trucks will be equipped with this system and will be able to communicate with your bins.

Benefits to You

Has your bin ever gone missing?  Have you had challenges with getting your collection picked up? Are you frustrated about sorting or bin placement?

There are a number of considerations that will help curbside collection run smoothly, including bin placement, timing of when bins are placed to the curb, and even what to put in your bins. We will even be able to help if you  have not been putting the correct bin out for collection (i.e. recycling put out on a waste collection day). This tracking system will help us to provide you with more specific feedback to overcome these challenges. 

The new RFID system will also provide opportunities for cost savings like reduced operation costs, lower fuel usage, less time spent on operations, and decreased wear and tear on vehicles. This means that saved tax dollars can be used in other areas for the services and programs that you rely on.

What do the RFID tags look like?

The tags are simply a white paper strip that will be applied to your bin. They are approximately 10 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. Inside each strip is a printed circuit with a chip and antenna system.

When will the new system begin?

This is a big project, so it will be phased in over the next three years as we install tags, implement the web-based system, train staff, and upgrade collection vehicles with the technology.

Not all of our collection trucks have this system yet. Some newer municipal collection trucks already have RFID capability, but as older vehicles reach the end of their lifecycles, replacement trucks will include the RFID system. 

We will phase in the program and bring bins online as tags are installed and programmed. Since not all collection trucks have the capability to communicate with the tags yet, the system will be brought online gradually. We anticipate the program will be fully operational within approximately three years.


What does RFID mean?   

RFID means radio frequency identification, and the tags work by transmitting and receiving information via an antenna and microchip system, much like a mini radio. 

Do I have to pay for this service?

There is no additional cost to users for this program. You will not be charged on your utility bill. 

Costs for this program come from the regular annual (operating/capital) budgeting process, including the RFID tags, collection bins, the web-based system, and collection vehicles.

Will I be fined if my curbside collection isn’t sorted properly or placed at the curb correctly?

Our priority is to provide reliable, efficient curbside collection services to residents. Therefore, education is our focus, so all residents will have a clear understanding of the system and an awareness of their responsibilities.  

The Municipality’s intent is not to fine residents for improper sorting or bin placement; however, crews may NOT be able to collect bins if they are not properly placed, or if waste is not securely contained in the bins. In addition, there is a Solid Waste Bylaw, and residents going against this bylaw could be fined or charged clean-up costs.

More specific information is available here: Solid Waste Bylaw No. 07/043.

What happens if my tag is removed?

Please do not peel off or adjust the tags, as they could become damaged and not function properly. Should you notice an issue with your tag, please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, or 1-800-973-9663 (toll free), or online at rmwb.ca/pulse. 

How do I get a replacement tag?

Please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, or 1-800-973-9663 (toll free), or online at rmwb.ca/pulse. 

Do I own my curbside collection bin?  Or does it belong to the Municipality?

Your bins are associated with your residence and technically belong to the Municipality. So all bins must stay at your residence should you move to a new location in the region or if you leave the region to live elsewhere.

How does this program impact me?

There should be minimal impact to most users. Crews intend to install tags during their regular collection process, so bins should already be out to the curb for easy installation. 

We don’t anticipate we’ll need to enter your property to install tags. Should we need to enter your property, a crew member will approach you for permission first.

What areas are included in this program?

The following communities are included in the program as they fall under the existing curbside collection program: Anzac, Draper, Fort McMurray, Gregoire Lake Estates and Saprae Creek.

Please note condos, businesses and industry do not fall under this program. 

If you are unsure if this impacts you, contact Pulse for more specific details at 780-743-7000, or 1-800-973-9663 (toll free), or online at rmwb.ca/pulse. 

I live in a condo and own a business. Does this program impact me too?

If you rely on a private service provider for your waste collection, this program does not impact you. The RFID system will only be implemented for the municipal curbside collection program.

If you are unsure if this impacts you, contact Pulse for more specific details at 780-743-7000, or 1-800-973-9663 (toll free), or online at rmwb.ca/pulse.