INNOVATION WORKING FOR YOU
The City of South Bend utilizes an innovative approach to make its Solid Waste operations more efficient.
Through the following efforts, the City powers its Solid Waste fleet and collects valuable data to improve performance, which guides future planning. In doing so, the City seeks to maximize the use of taxpayer dollars.
Known as “poop to power,” the City converts human waste to biogas. This biogas is used to fuel 100 percent of its Solid Waste fleet. A process called anaerobic digestion breaks down the organic matter from wastewater into biogas. When the fleet returns for the day, it is fueled with the converted biogas overnight.
Drivers of the Solid Waste fleet use tablets to track weekly yard waste and trash pickup. This helps keeps an accurate record of day-to-day operations. The data collected helps determine routes, contamination rates in the bins, and resident usage.
All Solid Waste trucks utilize mechanical arms to unload trash bins, leading to a more efficient pickup process. This requires a smaller labor force and results in few on-the-job injuries among workers.