One Man's Trash
Faculty and students in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration frequently conduct economic impact studies at the request of area businesses and organizations. This consulting service provides valuable data for community enterprises and invaluable experience for CCU students.
One of the more interesting projects of this kind resulted from a request last year from the City of Myrtle Beach for an analysis comparing the cost and time effectiveness of two different methods of trash collection.
The study was conducted by longtime CCU economics professor Yoav Wachsman with the assistance of students Brian Nicosia and Christopher Panciocco, who are both Community and Business Engagement (CoBE) associates at CCU.
Completed in December 2018, the report compares the traditional method of city trash collection with a suggested alternative method. The established method involves four different types of trucks (rear-load, front-load, knuckle boom and roll-off) that collect trash by zone for delivery to transfer stations, where the garbage is compacted, loaded on transfer trucks and delivered to the county landfill on S.C. 90. The alternative method proposed sending collection trucks directly to the landfill, bypassing the transfer station compaction process.
Wachsman, Nocosia and Panciocco examined both methods to determine which is most feasible and efficient for the major types of solid waste material (solid waste, yard and bulk waste), factoring in such considerations as traffic, environmental impact, landfill impacts, satisfaction of residents and anticipated future growth in solid waste volume. (The study didn’t include recyclables, which are handled at a different facility.)
The researchers used data from Myrtle Beach Public Works and Google Maps to measure the times required for each type of vehicle to complete given routes on particular days of the week. They measured time variables for each method and discussed other determinants such as seasonal tourism volume, road congestion and projected growth in areas such as The Market Common.
In the final analysis, the study found that the city would have to expand its garbage collection fleet by 125 percent (to the tune of approximately $3.3 million) in order to deliver trash directly to the landfill with the same efficiency as the old method of using transfer stations.
As CoBE associates, Nocosia and Panciocco are part of a program designed to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace by pairing high-achieving undergraduate business students with real-life business consulting projects. Students selected as CoBE associates gain real-world practical experience that will help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills while providing high-quality solutions for business clients.