Visualising failure in waste services


  1. Project outputs
  2. Project timeline
  3. Feedback

This alpha aimed to create data visualisation for the failure demand to inform targeted resources to address the problem by either education, enforcement or resolving locality problems such as poor parking. The aim was to develop a minimum viable product of a waste dashboard and intelligence function which is available to improve operational management, identify root causes for failure demand to inform service improvement.

Missed bin reports are a problem to all local authorities that have responsibility for them, and result in increased customer contact through multiple channels. Understanding the true picture is difficult and makes informative action complex.

The dashboard will analyse missed collection by round, ward, collection type and identify repeat offenders of contaminated waste or of additional side-waste to drive education and enforcement activity, improve customer satisfaction and enable service efficiency across the wider organisation.

Project outputs

All Local Digital Fund alpha projects were asked to provide the following information at completion:

  • User research report
  • Benefits case
  • A user experience demo or design pattern, a data model or a set of instructions
  • Recommendations for next steps


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Project timeline

December 2018 - alpha

‘Visualising failure in waste services’ alpha receives £69,178 from the Local Digital Fund.

May 2019 - alpha

‘Visualising failure in waste services’ alpha delivers project outputs which are published on the Local Digital website.


Each project was assessed using these lenses by the Local Digital Collaboration Unit. We have provided feedback directly to the project teams and this is a summary of what we shared with them.

It aims to be constructive for both the project team and any other organisation wishing to learn about the project or make use of the work done.

  • The project team undertook user research and used a wide range of methodologies including face to face interviews, shadowing and desk research. They engaged with a diverse group of internal stakeholders ranging from waste crew operatives to council members. The team should consider providing additional information about user research participants, and using moderated usability testing to supplement the methodologies used to give confidence that prototype users can carry out tasks based on real needs.
  • The project team produced a large number of personas and should consider consolidating these, centering personas around user needs rather than job roles in order to make them more useful for the wider local authority sector and provide better evidence for the recommendations made. The team should consider adding user needs, motivations, behaviours, accessibility and digital literacy information where it has not been included.
  • Within the business case the team provided details about several alternatives such as bin tagging and implementing in-cab technology. This included considerations for cost, disruption, difficulty of implementation, impact, additional workload and speed of implementation. This is likely to be useful for councils seeking to tackle the same problem.
  • The team produced a prototype for their waste dashboard and openly shared Oracle APEX code and dashboard screenshots. The team should consider producing more detailed guidance to enable other authorities to replicate the dashboard locally. The team should consider a more in depth understanding of the infrastructure in use nationally expanding their understanding of IT systems used by other local authorities and producing a more universal model, which would build confidence that the proposed solution is both scalable and feasible.