A stochastic inventory routing problem for infectious medical waste collection

Journal Article


We consider the problem of designing a logistic system to organize adequate collection of infectious medical waste. Waste materials are produced by patients in self‐treatment, stored at pharmacies and picked up by local authorities for disposal. The problem is formulated as a collector‐managed inventory routing problem, encompassing stochastic aspects, which are common in such problems. Social objectives, specifically the satisfaction of pharmacists and local authorities, as well as the minimization of public health risks, are considered for the real‐world‐motivated inventory routing problem. To optimize the planning process for a predefined time horizon, we take advantage of radio frequency identification technology, which allows an improvement of the planning process for pharmacists as well as local authorities. We develop two solution approaches to optimize the determination of visit dates and corresponding vehicle routes. We design a sampling method and an approach based on an adaptive large neighborhood search algorithm to treat the stochastic problem. The suggested approaches are tested on real‐world data from the region of Provence‐Alpes‐Côte d'Azur, in France. To evaluate the performance of the proposed solution methods, the results for different waste collection scenarios are analyzed and compared. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. NETWORKS, Vol. 63(1), 82–95 2014

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