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Ben Cheetham · local gov digital

Missed refuse collections online

Just prior to Christmas we launched our missed collections reporting form on the website. Up until then missed collection reports were handled by staff in the Customer Service Centre and those that were reported before 3pm on the day of collection had to wait so the back office had time to process the paper job sheets that were returned by the crews.

Guildford Borough Council - Missed refuse collections form

The new form integrates with our Cleansing department’s new waste management system to firstly, source collection dates and their status and secondly, record & manage missed collections. The waste management system was replaced last year and can now provide near real-time collection information as the trucks have been fitted with devices that can feedback whilst out collecting waste. This means that properties can start reporting missed collections minutes after the truck has left the street.

The new system allows crews to feedback when they have completed a street and also prompts them with reminders such as a particular property has registered for an assisted collection. They can also report intentional misses (such as bins being contaminated) or where the customer has not put their bin out. These reports are then recorded in the waste management system. We have then built an application to create a simple online form that shows customers the type of waste collections they have, when they are due and as appropriate shows the status of their next collection or allows a missed collection to be easily reported. The real-time nature of the system means we can also prevent duplicate missed collection reports.

Staff internally have access to a more comprehensive form that shows historical reports, events and details of the bins the property is recorded as having.

When a missed collection report is received, it is automatically validated and if it appears to have genuinely been missed the report is submitted to the waste management system. A process is then initiated within the waste management system to add it to a list of missed collections. Collection crews can then view this list on their in-cab device and work through the list marking them off as completed as they go.

This is a great process because it uses real-time information from the waste management system to display information to the public and our front-line staff which can prevent unnecessary contact and also control whether a missed collection can be reported. Once a report is received, the process is completely automated to assign it to an appropriate collection crew removing the need for CSC or back-office staff to get involved.