In November 2010 Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) established a Waste Improvement Plan. The key objectives of the Waste Improvement plan were to:
- Deliver recycling or composting of at least 60% of household rubbish by 2020
- Convert 35% of household rubbish into renewable energy leaving only 5% to be sent to landfill.
By achieving these objectives the Council will ensure that it meets
government recycling targets. It will also avoid the high financial
penalties that councils will incur for not meeting these objectives that
could amount to millions of pounds.
"Having the new bin day finder facility on website has provided residents with information about changes and the introduction of new services in an easy to understand format, using just their house number and postcode."
Andrea Morris, Sandwell Council's Waste Promotions Manager
One of the first changes to make collections more efficient was to change the collection rounds for the collection of household waste and recycling, with over 80% of residents being given a different collection day.
At the same time garden waste collections were synchronised with these collections, so that For the first time residents received their garden waste collection on the same day of the week as their recycling and refuse collections.
In order to change the collection rounds, it was necessary to communicate the new bin collection day to over 120,000 homes across the borough of Sandwell.
Sandwell Council used Jadu CMS, the Council's existing web content management, to develop the required functionality for its 'Bin Day Finder' service. This new development has become a key enabler of the Waste Improvement Plan which the Council is delivering in conjunction with its waste partner Serco.
On the 27th June of this year Sandwell Council launched a major campaign to make residents aware that their bin day had changed. This used a range of marketing channels and media (leaflets drop and media) and internet.
The public's response was very positive with nearly 3,000 unique visits to the 'Bin Day Finder' online calendar in the first weeks and 8,000 in the first two months. It was also the second most popular service over that period and received a lot of positive comments on Twitter and Facebook.
If the assumption is made that an online enquiry replaces that which would previously have been dealt with by telephone then the introduction of the Bin Day Finder online service has generated savings of £20,640 within the first two months of its introduction based on the 2011 SOCITM published figures for channel shift.*
This simple to use system prompts the user for house number and postcode and through the click of a button tells the user when the next collection is due. The changes to improve the waste collection services across the Borough have occurred over three stages:
Phase 1 was the introduction of blue recycling bins. Phase 2 was the change over to a single Bin Day for residents & Phase 3 which is currently in implementation, will see the introduction of a new recycling system for food waste and a number of other improvements.
The bin day finder has continued to receive 1000 unique visits per week since its introduction in June, as Sandwell Council is introducing phase 3 of the improvements on a round per week basis.
improvements to service include the introduction of a new food waste
collection service, replacement of black bags/dustbins with a 180litre
wheeled bin for household waste collection and increase in recycling
collection frequency to a weekly collection.
In order to provide the most up to date information to residents,
Sandwell Council were able to work with Jadu to ensure that residents
could determine the exact date that these changes would take place for
their household, along with the dates of their next collections.
* Calculation of savings made using most recently published SOCITM
data for channel shift - quotes an average cost of £2.90 per telephone
call; £7.40 per visits and £0.32 per web visitor. Calculations were
based on the cost savings of shifting 8000 telephone calls (Cost
£23,200) to web enquiries (cost £2560) Better served: customer access, efficiency Socitm Insight Feb 2011
Customers can enter in their house number and postcode in order to find out information about their bin day
They will then be informed what day their collection is and other relevant information, such as frequency and type of collection
Sandwell is a metropolitan borough in the Black Country, which is made up of six towns - Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.
Located in the West Midlands, Sandwell borders Birmingham city, Dudley borough, Walsall borough and Wolverhampton city.
The borough has 1,200 hectares of parks, playing fields and local green space, and over 30 miles of canals.