Developing an Applied Algorithm for Multi-Trip Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows in Urban Waste Collection: A Case Study

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by: Erfan Babaee Tirkolaee, Parvin Abbasian, Mehdi Soltani and Seyed Ali Ghaffarian


This paper studies a multi-trip vehicle routing problem with time windows specifically related to urban waste collection. Urban waste collection is one of the municipal activities with large costs and has many practical difficulties. In other words, waste collection and disposal is a costly task due to high operating expenses (fuel, maintenance, recycling, manpower, etc.) and small improvements in this field can result in tremendous savings on municipal expenditure. In the raised problem, the goal is to minimize total cost including traversing cost, vehicle employment cost, and exit penalty from permissible time windows. In this problem, the waste is deposited at the points indicating the demand nodes, in which each demand shows the volume of generated waste. Considering multiple trips for vehicles and time windows are the most critical features of the problem, so that the priorities of serving some specific places such as hospitals can be observed. Since vehicle routing problems (VRP) belongs to NP-hard problems, an efficient simulated annealing (SA) is proposed to solve the problem. The computational results show that our proposed algorithm has a great performance in a short computational time in comparison with the CPLEX solver. Finally, in order to demonstrate the applicability of the model, a case study is analyzed in Iran, and the optimal policies are presented.


Vehicle routing problem, multiple trips, urban waste collection, simulated annealing, time windows, CPLEX solver

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