Optimizing Waste Management Collection Routes in Urban Haiti: A Collaboration between DataKind and SOIL

10/31/2020 ∙ by Michael Dowd, et al. ∙ 0

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a research and development organization that aims to increase access to cost-effective household sanitation services in urban communities in Haiti. Each week, SOIL provides over 1,000 households with ecological sanitation toilets, then transports the waste to be transformed into rich compost. However, SOIL faces several challenges regarding the route optimization of their mixed fleet vehicle routing. This paper builds upon the authors' submission to Bloomberg's 2019 Data for Good Exchange (D4GX), presenting preliminary findings from a joint collaboration between DataKind, a data science nonprofit, and SOIL. This research showcases how optimization algorithms and open source tools (i.e., OpenStreetMap and Google OR-Tools) can help improve and reduce the costs of mixed-fleet routing problems, particularly in the context of developing countries. As a result of this work, SOIL is able to make improvement to their collection routes, which account for different road conditions and vehicle types. These improvements reduce operational costs and fuel use, which are essential to the service's expansion in the coming years.

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