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04 Mar 2021

City of Berkeley, California, green-lights AMCS Platform to unify and modernize Zero Waste efforts

Berkeley chose AMCS for their Zero Waste Management Software System to improve efficiencies, digitize their operations, increase customer service and enhance environmental sustainability.

Boston, MA, United States, March 4 — Under the City of Berkeley Public Works Department, the Zero Waste Commission has signed on for the AMCS Platform to modernize and unify the entire Zero Waste operation.

Berkeley, located 10 miles northeast of San Francisco, is a densely populated city of more than 118,000 residents, is defined to a large degree, both culturally and economically, by the presence of the University of California campus located on the eastern side of the city. As such, the city prides itself on being progressive, especially as it relates to the environment.

The city’s Zero Waste philosophy adheres to the definition adopted by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), “Zero waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not to burn or bury them.”

Berkeley established the Zero Waste Commission to help divert waste from its landfill and maximize the benefits of recycling. In addition to the municipal Transfer Station and landfill, the commission operates a 32-truck fleet to service the community’s waste and recycling operations.

The program has been wrestling with a legacy billing and work order system, supplemented by — but not integrated with — its CRM system. Finally, after careful long-term internal and third-party evaluation of its technology needs, the existing paper-based patchwork solution was deemed outdated, inadequate, and incapable of providing even basic functionality for running a modern-day Zero Waste program.

The inefficiencies in business workflow, delayed community response times, and limited reporting and analysis have hampered efforts to manage city refuse, recycling, and organics collection effectively. In addition, the legacy tools have required heavy support from its IT staff just to maintain the system’s status quo.

As part of its technology plan going forward, the city intends to incorporate and implement the requisite high-level processes into its new enterprise system. The AMCS Platform solutions map to those processes. For example:

  • To broaden constituent self-service capabilities, including online bill payment, the AMCS self-service Customer Portal will empower residents and other stakeholders to access and manage their accounts online, 24/7. Via the portal, users will be able to manage and safely pay invoices, sign up for autopay, make order requests and changes, update their account information, and view their account history.
  • To optimize waste routes and provide real time mobile communications, the AMCS Mobile solution, GPS-based routes are pre-planned and distributed to drivers on mobile devices. Drivers will use an advanced point-and-click interface to prevent missed pick-ups and provide proof of service for invoicing.

    Should route conditions such as traffic jams arise and threaten to slow progress, automatic re-routing will keep things moving. Live interaction between the office and drivers will enable dynamically updating orders in real-time, obviating the need for extra trips — or paper orders.

    These new efficiencies will bring significant reduction in fuel and labor costs and improvement in vehicle mileage and emissions, supporting the city’s reduction of carbon emissions efforts and its Climate Change Action Plan.
  • To improve business processes based on best practices, improve business and system integration, eliminate duplicate data entry, and improve access to data and user-friendly reporting tools, the AMCS Enterprise Management solution will streamline all processes across the business into one system with end-to-end visibility, using automation to maximize efficiency, and integrating each capability into the whole.

The AMCS Platform best fits the requirements of the Zero Waste division and scored highest in its evaluation criteria. The cloud-based AMCS Platform consists of the functionality that best meets the City of Berkeley’s requirements — and provides the superior security, scalability, and mobile capabilities of the cloud.

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