Earlier this year, at the inaugural RUBICONSmartCity™ Next Summit, Rubicon brought together thought leaders, technologists, and current and prospective partners to learn from our team and each other, share best practices, and explore how RUBICONSmartCity’s cutting-edge technology can take municipal operations to the next level.
On the first day of the Summit, Fred Hannon, Rubicon’s Vice President of Smart City Customer Success, was joined on stage by representatives from a number of Rubicon’s smart city partners for a wide-ranging conversation about how cities can deliver on the promise of best-in-class customer service.
Read on to revisit the panel if you were in attendance, to experience a teaser of what you missed if you could not make it, and for more information on how Rubicon’s smart city technology is helping to bring positive change to communities across the country.
Panelist #1: Michael Looney (City of Hartford, Connecticut)
Michael Looney is Director of Public Works for the City of Hartford, Connecticut. His community ran into difficulties in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. During this time, many of Hartford’s loads of recyclables were getting rejected. As the year progressed, the city’s recycling tonnage had dropped by 75 percent.
In 2021, Hartford selected Rubicon to help address these issues. By recognizing the need for technological innovations, Michael and his team were able to collect and store more data using Rubicon’s software. They were able to identify routes where contaminated recyclables were more likely to be found and start fine-tuning their recycling efforts. Over the past year alone, the city was able to bring its recycling tonnage back up by approximately 33 percent, thanks in part to Rubicon’s insights.
Here’s what Michael had to say about working with our team:
“This technology, and working with Rubicon’s staff and customer service team, has really helped us to surgically fine-tune our recycling outreach and lower contamination rates.”
Panelist #2: Erica Jacobo (City of Spokane, Washington)
Representing the City of Spokane, Washington, Erica Jacobo shared that her city was one of Rubicon’s very first partners, and how prior to partnering with Rubicon her community was eager to move away from their reliance on paper and towards a streamlined software solution. Before the partnership with Rubicon, drivers would have to manually log exceptions like overflowing trash or extra bins, which ultimately created problems when constituents would call and complain.
With Rubicon’s smart city technology suite, visual documentation and evidence became instantly available. Erica and her department now had the opportunity to email customers directly with imagery taken and uploaded by drivers on their routes. This innovation turned out to be a win-win for everyone involved: Drivers felt more encouraged to record exceptions, the city was able to improve problem areas in their community without having to send personnel out to investigate, and more constituents became aware of their individual waste streams and how to manage them properly.
To Erica, Rubicon played a key role in the progress of Spokane’s solid waste management operation. She concluded:
“Having [Rubicon’s] knowledge up front and at the tip of our fingertips has been such a huge improvement for us.”
Panelist #3: Tom Hartman (City of Harrisonburg, Virginia)
Tom Hartman is Director of Public Works for the City of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prior to working with Rubicon, he recognized that the routes taken by drivers in his department’s solid waste division were often inefficient. Drivers would meet in one of four quadrants dividing the city and then “scatter,” leading to long five- to 10-hour days just to meet standard collection demands.
It was clear that Tom’s crews needed help with route optimization, but doing so by hand was a massive undertaking. With Rubicon’s smart city software integrated into trucks, drivers were able to follow more effective routes. This not only boosted morale among driving crews, it saved $90,000 on fuel expenses, helped reduce injuries of drivers while on the job, and even slashed their CO2 emissions by a quarter of a million pounds. These great achievements led to the City of Harrisonburg being named a Smart 50 Award winner in 2022 in partnership with Smart Cities Connect, the Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite; the third such RUBICONSmartCity partner to win this prestigious international award.
To Tom, Rubicon has made an immense difference to Harrisburg’s waste collection operation. He remarked:
“I can’t say enough about how Rubicon has benefitted us.”
Next Summit 2023 is already shaping up to be bigger and better than the inaugural 2022 event. Visit Rubicon.com/next-summit to sign up for updates and be first in line when registration opens.
Conor Riffle is Senior Vice President of Smart Cities at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.