Optimizing Organic Waste Diversion Using a Vehicle Routing Model

A truck empties garbage at the dump.

Author: Nicolas R. Malloy

Table of Contents

  1. Optimizing Organic Waste Diversion Using a Vehicle Routing Model
  2. Setting up Your Workspace
  3. Preparing the Data
  4. Skill Drill: Clip the Roads Layer to the City of Eureka
  5. Skill Drill: Add a Time Cost Attribute to the Roads Layer
  6. Skill Drill: Adding XY Data
  7. Skill Drill: Geocoding an Address  and Creating a CSV Table to Import As XY Data
  8. Creating A Network Dataset
  9. Setting up a Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP)
  10. Loading Orders into the Model
  11. Loading the Depot into the Model
  12. Adding Route Parameters into the Model
  13. Adding a Route Renewal into the Model
  14. Adjusting the Analysis Setting of Model
  15. Running the Vehicle Routing Model
  16. Skill Drill: Adding a Second Garbage Truck to the Model
  17. Skill Drill: Adjusting the Model to include Rear-Loading Trucks
  18. Skill Drill: Creating a Map of the Results

In this lab, you will explore modeling network paths using a vehicle routing model. You will create a network dataset and modify route parameters to determine the least-cost paths along a network.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review how to acquire data from a public source
  • Geocode an address
  • Review adding XY data
  • Review Data Management Tools: project, define projection
  • Create a network dataset
  • Model the vehicle routing based on the least-cost paths
  • Adjust model parameters to create and manage delivery routes based on a set of path constraints
  • Evaluate results of network analysis based on cost


In this scenario, the Humboldt Waste Management Authority has begun an organic waste diversion pilot program for the collection of compostable organic waste. This waste stream represents a significant portion of waste generated in Humboldt County. The diversion of organic waste has the potential to reduce hauling costs, offset greenhouse gas emissions, and produce energy.

You will use the following criteria in your analysis:

  • The name and addresses of the restaurants and businesses
  • The average organic waste volume at each location
  • The time-windows when pick-ups are allowed
  • The service time required at each location
  • The service time required at the start and end of each route
  • The operating costs and capacity for a side-loading truck
  • The operating costs and capacity for a rear-loading truck
  • The cost of labor
  • The maximum total time for each route based on a 9-hour work shift.

Conduct this analysis using the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system along with the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). Humboldt County lies in Zone 10 of the UTM system. All of your data must be in this spatial reference system at the start of your analysis. Create working copies of your data in this spatial reference system using the Project tool in ArcMap as needed.