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2008 CRRA Conference Using DIMs To Brighten Things Up. August 5, 2008 (Printed on Recycled Content Paper). Digital Interactive Maps (DIM). DIGITAL INTERACTIVE MAPS. A.k.a. The Poor Man's Geographic Information System (GIS). What the Heck is a DIM?. A DIM is a GIS.

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2008 CRRA ConferenceUsing DIMs To Brighten Things Up

August 5, 2008

(Printed on Recycled Content Paper)

Digital interactive maps dim l.jpg
Digital Interactive Maps (DIM)


A.k.a. The Poor Man's

Geographic Information

System (GIS)

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What the Heck is a DIM?

  • A DIM is a GIS

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What the Heck is a GIS?

  • Geographic Information System

  • A computer program linking features commonly seen on maps (such as roads, town boundaries, water bodies) with related information not usually presented on maps (such as type of road surface, population, type of agriculture, type of vegetation, or water quality information)

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The Utility of A DIM

  • To implement a large scale recycling program, DIM’s are used to consolidate and geographically organize all the needed information.

  • Ideally, all the information you need to design, coordinate, propose, implement, and monitor a recycling program is available in one place.

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Top 7 Reasons Not to Recycle(According to Business Owners and Property Managers)

  • COST: It will cost my business extra money on our trash bills!

  • SPACE: There isn’t room in my trash enclosure to accommodate an additional recycling bin!

  • PARTICIPATION: My employees won’t participate!

  • CONTAMINATION: The wrong materials will end up in the bins and my trash won’t get picked up on time!

  • NEED: We don’t generate any recyclable trash in the first place, so we don’t need a program!

  • SERVICE REDUCTION: Recycling will reduce my trash service, causing overflow.

  • TIME: I don’t have time for this!

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What You Need to Make A DIM

  • DIMs can be created using the following everyday software:

    • Google Earth or Google Maps

    • Microsoft Word

    • Microsoft Excel

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How To Make A DIM(Without Consultants)

  • Step 1: Field Work

  • Step 2: Locate Property on Google Maps

  • Step 3: Import Google Maps Screenshot into Word and Add Features

  • Step 4: Link Features to Field Data Forms

  • Step 5: Generate a Proposal

  • Step 6: Monitor, Monitor, Monitor

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Step 1: Field Work

  • Gathering field information is the most labor intensive aspect of a DIM.

  • The following field work needs to be done in order to gather sufficient data to implement a successful and long lasting recycling program.

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Step 1a: Tenant Surveys

  • Tenant surveys to gauge tenant interest and potential participation:

    • Management contact information.

    • What are the main recyclable items generated?

    • Is there a janitorial staff that takes out trash?

    • Are there existing diversion programs?

    • Would they actively participate in a recycling program?

    • Do they need training?

    • What trash enclosure do they use?

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Step 1b: Waste Characterizationsa.k.a. Dumpster Diving

  • Waste characterizations to determine trash contents:

    • Visual examination to estimate percentage content of 17 different resources.

    • Determine size of bin.

    • Determine size of enclosure and how many bins will fit in it.

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Step 2: Locate Property on Google Maps

  • Now that all the dirty work is done, the next step is to locate the property on Google Earth or Google Maps.

  • Take a screen shot of the particular property, crop it, and save it as a JPEG.

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Step 3: Import Google Maps Screenshot into Word and Add Features

  • Now that you have a map layer, the next step is to insert features, such as:

    • Trash enclosures

    • Business names and addresses

    • Trash flow indicators

    • Street and intersection names

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Step 4: Link Features to FeaturesField Data Forms

  • Link enclosure icons on map to waste audits, enclosure dimensions, photographs, site surveys, etc.

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Step 5: Generate a Proposal Features

  • From your wealth of field data, conveniently held in one location on your DIM, you can now draft a well informed proposal for the stakeholders involved with implementing a large scale recycling program.

  • Stakeholders include:

    • Property manager

    • Trash/recycling hauler

    • City

    • Tenants in property

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Step 6: Monitor, Monitor, Monitor… Features

  • No matter how perfect your proposal is or how meticulous your field work is, problems will arise.

  • Monitor and record recyclable contamination and any instances of bins overflowing with trash.

  • Be proactive rather than reactive.

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Show Me The Carbon Features

  • Now, to tie it into the ‘Carbonopoly’ theme…

  • Provide the stakeholders with some data that calculates the amount of resources saved and GHG’s not emitted because of the implementation of the program.

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And The Point Is… Features

  • Everyday software can be used to create an electronic tool that can be shared with waste generators, haulers, and City staff to promote recycling.

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2008 CRRA Conference FeaturesUsing DIMs To Brighten Things Up

Trevor S. Blythe

Director, Project Implementation

(805) 693-8453