Last month I was down in Irving, Texas working alongside our Smart City launch leads Sam Emengini and Kevin Malinowski to help deploy RUBICONSmartCity™ in their fleet of 40 waste and recycling collection vehicles that service approximately 42,000 residential and commercial locations across the city.

The partnership will allow the City of Irving to use the RUBICONSmartCity platform in a six-month pilot program to enhance its waste and recycling offerings and outcomes—both from an environmental and a customer service standpoint—through the integration of our technology.

The platform helps cities of all sizes leverage data to make smarter decisions about waste, recycling, and city operations, leading to improvements in sustainability and quality of life for city residents. For those wondering what it takes to lead one of these launches, or what is needed in order to move forward with such a switch, read on.

Understanding Key Deliverables

Ahead of the launch, the City of Irving told us that of paramount interest for them during the engagement would be the generation of data that could help them better understand how to optimize their operations for waste, recycling, and brush routes, as well as collecting data and documentation on the volume of material picked up for every route, which could help establish new programs or rules.

With a population of over 240,000 residents, any opportunity to streamline operations through the implementation of new technology for the City of Irving could make a significant improvement to the cleanliness and safety of the streets, and the lives of their citizens.

“The City of Irving continually is looking to take advantage of technology and data that helps improve efficiency, maintenance, and makes the city better for our residents,” said Irving’s Solid Waste Service Director, Brenda Haney. “We think this specific smart city solution from Rubicon could be a game changer for our fleet, and we look forward to exploring its impact and application throughout our system.”

What Happens on Launch Week

What happens during a rollout varies between cities depending on a number of factors, including the size and type of a city’s fleet, as well as the city’s priorities such as data collection and service confirmation, or expanding beyond sanitation operations, to include street sweeping tracking, for example.

The RUBICONSmartCity platform includes a smartphone or tablet loaded with a customized Rubicon® software application, as well as an on-board computer plug-in device. These devices are typically used in a city’s waste and recycling vehicles to allow for the collection of real-time service confirmations, provide GPS vehicle tracking, and enable documentation of any driver issues or the inability to successfully complete a pick-up. There is also a cloud-based manager portal which displays the data and analytics coming from the entire fleet in order to show sanitation supervisors, city managers, 311 clerks, and other staff real-time route updates, daily reports, and operational insights.

During a typical rollout, our Smart City launch team and I will spend time with the drivers and managers to train them on how to use the tech (the app for the drivers and the portal for the managers), how to log exceptions, how to submit photos when there’s an issue, how to input weight tickets at disposal facilities, how to see their route progress, how to update routes and dispatch trucks, as well as any other operational scenarios they’d like to manage in the platform. Site visits and in-person training are key to a successful launch, as providing real-time feedback and Q&A sessions with the staff ensures a smoother transition to the tech and ensures everyone is comfortable using the platform. Drivers and managers alike typically adapt quickly and with ease to our intuitive technology, and they’re excited to start using it on a daily basis so they can be more agile and effective in their day-to-day work.

The City of Irving was already working to advance smart city solutions when we first began our partnership with them, but a city can be at any stage along the smart city spectrum in order to benefit from the RUBICONSmartCity platform. If you have any questions for me or the rest of the Smart Cities team here at Rubicon, or you would like to explore the possibility of deploying RUBICONSmartCity in your city, please drop me a line at

Sarah Bloomquist is Senior Account Manager for Smart Cities 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.