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An online system to let you pick a garbage company, but not which company's truck actually comes to your house.



Having multiple garbage trucks visit each neighborhood may be good for capitalism and consumer choice, but it is bad for the environment.   I suggest having each municipality design several garbage plans for consumers to choose from.   The local garbage companies would then set their price for each plan.     A consumer would log on and choose a garbage plan and a garbage company.

The system would then determine how many customers each company "won".   Instead of actually serving those specific residents, they would be assigned contiguous residents to serve. 

Example: Company A won 60% of the residents, scattered over the city.   Company B won 40%.   The city would then choose which 60% of the city company A would get, and which 40% company B would get.   

Example result:  The emissions and road wear is drastically reduced.   The costs of service would reduce.   Sadly, fewer employees would now be needed, but the city could set up extra collection rounds for recycling (paper, plastic, electronics, etc.).

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?

Not sure

What actions do you propose?

A computer system would have to be designed.

The system would have to be marketed and sold to cities and residents.

Who will take these actions?

A business would likely have to start the work and apply for a government contract.

Alternatively, a city could start the process and hire a company to build and sell the project.

(I don't have to be involved, but if this is actually a novel idea I would like credit.)

Where will these actions be taken?

This would be work in areas with multiple garbage companies.   (Example: Twin Cities in Minnesota)

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

United States

Country 2

No country selected

Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

In my neighborhood, there are at least two garbage companies that visit each week.   If it were reduced to 1, then the transportation emissions would be reduced between 25 and 50%.    (The number of trips to the dump would not be reduced, thus it couldn't reach 50% reduction with just two companies in play.)

Also, the garbage trucks are the main reason for the local road damage.   If there were half as many trucks on the local roads, the roads may last an extra 30%.   (That number is just a rough guess.)    Pouring new concrete is a huge source of CO2 (and a huge financial sink for cities).   If the roads last longer, that is better for everyone (except, perhaps, the construction worker).

What are other key benefits?

Better air quality.   Less noise in the neighborhood.

(I am unsure of the local climate goals, but this would help any of them.)  (Alas, I don't think the US has climate goals right now.)


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Minnesota recently built a new DMV system.   Aparranetly that cost 7 million and needs replacing.

For the love of everything, I don't see how this could cost more than $500,000 to get started.    (5 good computer engineers for a year?)


This would be a short term goal.   If the public and local communities could be brought on board, perhaps it could be active in a couple of years?

About the author(s)

I am a physics professor at a community college in Minnesota.

I don't have to be involved, but if this is actually a novel idea I would like credit.

Related Proposals


I haven't had time to fully research these ideas.    I'm just hoping that this idea can be useful and that others can help it get traction.