News | August 24, 2011

RFID Solution From Intermec And Sonrai Systems Gives Charleston County Increased Visibility Into Recycling Participation

Exact participation detection leads to improved recycling diversion rates

Intermec, Inc. recently announced that in partnership with Sonrai Systems, a leading provider of waste management solutions, it has helped Charleston County, South Carolina more than double recycling participation and in some areas exceed 70% recycling levels. The use of Intermec RFID technology has been instrumental in providing Charleston County with unparalleled accuracy within its environmental management program with productivity rates increasing by 83%.

With a solid waste diversion goal of 40 percent, Charleston County is addressing improvements in all facets of its recycling program, including residential single stream recycling, where the RFID solution has proven invaluable in its ability to precisely identify recycling participation and increase collection operations productivity. In a shift from curb-sorted, manual bin collection to a wheeled cart program, the County needed to validate the industry-claimed benefits of single stream recycling.

"In order to make future program decisions, we needed to be able to collect reliable and consistent data about recycling in our County and the RFID solution from Intermec and Sonrai has given us a high level of data confidence," said Hal Crawford, Charleston County Collection Department Manager. "We now have technology as a trusted measuring stick for recycling in the County so we can strategically implement programs to encourage recycling to residents who aren't."

The recycle carts are part of a single-stream recycling initiative implemented in January 2011 where paper, plastics, glass, aluminum and steel are recycled together rather than separated into two bins, making recycling convenient for residents. To achieve its goals, Charleston County was advised by solid waste management consultants Kessler Consulting Inc. to implement an RFID solution from Intermec and Sonrai to efficiently track and trace the pickup of recycling carts. Kessler Consulting recommended the deployment of curbside recycling carts with RFID tags at 5,000 homes in an initial pilot effort.

"Intermec delivers on the promise of scalable RFID systems, redefining the way Charleston County captures and shares information," Mike Nichols, director of RFID, Intermec, Inc. "Our world-class partner ecosystem makes it easier, faster and more cost-effective to deploy RFID technology to meet the needs of customers."

As the systems integrator, Sonrai installed equipment using Intermec's RFID technology as part of their total hardware solution on the County's recycling trucks. Sonrai has also implemented a software data application that allows managers to view the exact timing and location of a cart pickup.

"We are committed to meeting the needs of our customers through the automated management of recycling services and equipment with RFID technology," said Anthony Romano, vice president of business development, Sonrai Systems. "With our solutions, we are able to give customers, like Charleston County, the technology they need to cut costs and streamline operations."

The County has received approval to implement RFID in an additional 5,000 homes after the initial pilot rolled out in January 2011.

About Intermec
Intermec Inc. develops and integrates products, services and technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets and information. Core technologies include rugged mobile computing and data collection systems, bar code printers, label media, and RFID. The company's products and services are used by customers in many industries worldwide to improve the productivity, quality and responsiveness of business operations. For more information, visit

About Sonrai Systems
Sonrai Systems has more than 100 years experience in the waste industry and more than 15 years experience in providing waste systems to retailers. Sonrai offers innovative products and systems to control backroom and building automation costs. They supplement current systems or design custom monitoring and cost control solutions specific to customer needs.

SOURCE: Intermec, Inc.