Recology Helps Reduce San Francisco Waste with KeyInfo

Recology Case Study

Recology, San Francisco’s resource recovery company, is at the center of innovation for new techniques in impactful waste management and the most advanced recycling programs in North America. Recology executives noted that in San Francisco alone, their company has helped recycle 1.2 million tons of paper, saving 20 million trees; recycled 174,000 tons of glass, saving enough energy to power the city’s cable car system for nearly three years, and recycled 135,000 tons of metal, saving 19 million gallons of oil. These are big numbers and provide hope towards achieving the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ goal of zero waste. Recology has been charged to continue reducing landfill disposal by further improving recycling programs designed to help the city achieve zero waste by 2020.


Recognized as the most environmentally friendly major US city, San Francisco has put major efforts into recycling programs that have greatly reduced waste and make the city a greener place to live. The success of these programs has brought with it new opportunities to further reduce waste in other areas. Now, waste management companies and their customers are faced with a unique opportunity: reduce fuel and labor costs, while at the same time accelerating the current rate of trash reduction.

Strategic Business Objective

To take advantage of this opportunity, Recology, a San Francisco-based resource recovery company, turned to IBM Premier Business Partner Key Information Systems to develop a mobile application that allows residents to interact with the company to manage their waste pick up schedule, providing measurable savings to Recology and its customers.

The mobile app is a key component of Recology’s “Pay-Per-Setout” pilot program, an incentive program that provides customer billing discounts for generating less trash and decreasing trash collection frequency. Recology determined that for the Pay-Per-Setout pilot program to succeed, they would need to provide clients with a way to interact with Recology. The goal was to develop a mobile application that provides clients with a convenient and user-friendly platform to manage their waste pickup schedule.

Win Theme

Recology is creatively finding ways to adapt to the changing cost structure of waste management, and at the same time support San Francisco and its residents in their effort to become a “zero-waste” city by the year 2020. The Pay-Per-Setout pilot program began in August 2013 and is designed to incentivize households to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. Recology customers report that it is changing their household disposal habits. Since the program’s inception, the 3,000 plus households in select neighborhoods eligible for the program has skipped over a combined 28,000 trash pickups.

Mobile App Critical to Pilot Program’s Success

For Recology, the mobile application platform, available for Android and iOS operating systems, was crucial to their mission and competitive status. “It was an important step for Recology to be more interactive with their customers and therefore more responsive,” said Baylor. The application, “Recology Mobile,” allows Recology to optimize workforce mobility, travel and customer scheduling which allows Recology to lower costs to the consumer and improve program participation for the city.

Key Information Systems, backed by Avnet and the IBM Worklight platform, was able to deliver an efficient and reduced cost option to Recology. KeyInfo used the IBM Worklight Studio to install a development environment to use existing business data intelligence to create design and function. Utilizing IBM Worklight’s mobile browser simulator and app preview service, the mobile development team rapidly increased development time. This significantly reduced Recology’s time-to-deployment to top tier app distributors, quickly enabling customer participation in the Pay-Per-Setout program.


Download our Success Story about how Recology’s mobile application is helping San Francisco residents reduce waste with Key Information Systems