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Household food waste collection: Building service networks through neighborhood expansion

In this paper we develop a residential food waste collection analysis and modeling framework that captures transportation costs faced by service providers in their initial stages of service provision.

Research By:

  • William R. Armington
  • Roger B. Chen

Abstract:

In this paper we develop a residential food waste collection analysis and modeling framework that captures transportation costs faced by service providers in their initial stages of service provision. With this framework and model, we gain insights into network transportation costs and investigate possible service expansion scenarios faced by these organizations. We solve a vehicle routing problem (VRP) formulated for the residential neighborhood context using a heuristic approach developed. The scenarios considered follow a narrative where service providers start with an initial neighborhood or community and expands to incorporate other communities and their households. The results indicate that increasing household participation, decreases the travel time and cost per household, up to a critical threshold, beyond which we see marginal time and cost improvements. Additionally, the results indicate different outcomes in expansion scenarios depending on the household density of incorporated neighborhoods. As household participation and density increases, the travel time per household in the network decreases. However, at approximately 10–20 households per km2, the decrease in travel time per household is marginal, suggesting a lowerbound household density threshold. Finally, we show in food waste collection, networks share common scaling effects with respect to travel time and costs, regardless of the number of nodes and links.

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Citation:

Armington, William R., & Chen, Roger B. (2018). Household food waste collection: Building service networks through neighborhood expansion. Waste Management77(C). doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2018.04.012