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Residential waste services require flexibility – and we’re committed to providing it

As an organisation we talk a lot about how our civic tech products are able to flex around individual authorities’ needs. This is not something we say because it sounds good; it is a commitment from us.

Take our residential waste management portal WasteWorks as an example. 

A waste service that works for everyone

WasteWorks is a front-end SaaS product which integrates with in-cab systems to simplify online access to all waste services associated with a property’s address, such as checking your bin days, ordering a new container or reporting a problem with a collection.

We built the core WasteWorks service in 2021 in collaboration with the London Borough of Bromley, who wanted to reduce the amount of unnecessary contact they were receiving about residential waste services caused by their existing processes. 

With that goal in mind, we equipped WasteWorks with the ability to not only let residents self-serve up-to-date information about their waste collections (including being able to download a live schedule to their device’s calendar), but also to ensure that reports of, for example, missed collections can only be made after the crew has completed their rounds.

Since launching for Bromley, WasteWorks has consistently achieved a 40% drop in unnecessary contact, and made the final of the LGC Awards 2022 in the Public/Private Partnership category. 

As more authorities have adopted the service, we have continued to add new functionality in alignment with the needs of our community of users, including:

  • Green garden waste subscriptions – enabling residents to subscribe to and pay for green waste collections
  • Bulky waste collection bookings – residents can book and pay for a one-off collection or subscribe to repeat collections if required
  • Small item collections – take bookings for the collection of small items, such as batteries and textiles
  • Assisted collection requests – let residents request help from your waste crew with their bin collection(s)
  • New container payments – take payments for new containers when requested by residents

The implementation of these features differs per council, adapting to their different rules, workflows and seasonal circumstances. 

Image shows a desktop and mobile version of the bulky waste collection service of WasteWorks for Kingston and Sutton

For example, where an authority needs to understand what and how many containers a property already has we are able to add in extra questions to gather this information.

In other instances, where an authority experiences shortages of sacks, we are able to give council staff the ability to temporarily switch off orders and communicate transparently. 

The future

Each council using WasteWorks has made it their own, with slightly different configurations to make it exactly what they need.

We can facilitate this because our software is built with local authority differences in mind. We have learned from delivering our long-running street and environment reporting service FixMyStreet Pro across over 30 authorities that even when the goal is the same, the approach can differ. We embed that flexibility into all of our products.

In terms of new developments, we will continue to be led by our users (both residents and staff) following our citizen-centred design principles. User groups enable us to bring everyone together to discuss ideas, while customers have the opportunity to log suggestions through our helpdesk service at any time. 

Waste is a service area that will be subject to much change over the coming years in response to new regulations and legislation aimed at helping us respond to climate change.  

However requirements change, we will be there to support our local authority clients along the journey.

If you’d like a conversation about transforming online access to residential waste services with scalable open source software, get in touch.

Image: Abel Matthew via Pexels


London boroughs of Kingston and Sutton take requests for bulky waste collections with WasteWorks

Following the recent implementation of WasteWorks in the London boroughs of Kingston and Sutton, both councils’ versions of the service can now be used by residents to book bulky waste collections online.

WasteWorks was chosen by Kingston and Sutton in 2022 as part of a programme of ongoing improvements to residential waste services for both boroughs. The service is already used by residents to easily and conveniently access information about their bin days, report problems with collections, request new containers and subscribe to green waste collections.

The addition of the bulky waste collection functionality incorporates another aspect of the councils’ waste service into WasteWorks’ user-friendly interface, which was designed in collaboration with Bromley Council to simplify access to residential waste online and reduce avoidable customer contact.

Image shows a desktop and mobile version of the bulky waste collection service of WasteWorks for Kingston and Sutton

For Kingston and Sutton, WasteWorks is integrated with the Selected Interventions Echo in-cab system, which is used by Veolia, the waste contractor for both councils. This integration enables a seamless two-way flow of data between residents and Veolia, sharing up-to-date information about waste collections, such as when a bin will next be collected, or why a collection was missed, and enabling residents to reserve available collection slots for bulky waste.

To allow residents to pay for their collections within the same workflow, WasteWorks is also integrated with the Capita Pay 360 payment system for Kingston, and the Barclaycard system for Sutton. 

Residents can also use WasteWorks to report a missed bulky collection and submit cancellation requests.

Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks, said: “The delivery of WasteWorks for Kingston and Sutton has been a significant collaborative effort between SocietyWorks, Kingston and Sutton, Selected Interventions and Veolia. All parties share a dedication to improving waste services for residents, and we are thrilled to be able to support them with this with scalable, citizen-centred technology.” 

Find out more about WasteWorks here


Faster data export downloads from FixMyStreet Pro and WasteWorks

Staff users of our FixMyStreet Pro and WasteWorks solutions will now benefit from much faster data export downloads thanks to a new update we’ve made to the export functionality. Exports should now be ready to start downloading within a short space of time.

The faster download speeds apply to both user access through the dashboard web page, or programmatic access via the API, making it particularly useful for those of our clients which use Power BI to track performance levels. 

Example of the administration dashboard of FixMyStreet Pro and WasteWorks from which staff users can filter and export report data

In order to be performant, data is now pre-generated overnight ready for export, so it’s worth noting the CSV export won’t include information from the current day.

Standard data exports contain all the information about reports or requests made via FixMyStreet Pro and/or WasteWorks, including categories, states and device types, and can be filtered by date, ward, category, status and administrator role. Exports can also be customised according to the requirements of individual clients.

FixMyStreet Pro and WasteWorks customers also have access to a heatmap showing the concentration of reports by area

If you’re a client of FixMyStreet Pro or WasteWorks and would like any help with data exports, please open a ticket via the support desk system.

Or if you’re interested in finding out more about our solutions, get in touch

Image: Carlos Muza


Small items collection functionality added to WasteWorks

In collaboration with Brent Council we have added some new functionality to WasteWorks which enables residents to book a waste collection for small items including batteries and textiles.

WasteWorks is our front end residential waste platform designed with and for councils to provide simple online access for residents to information about their waste collections. It has the flexibility not just to integrate with any in-cab system or payment provider, but to also easily incorporate extra elements of a waste service as required by councils, including bulky waste, green garden waste, assisted collections, and now small items collections.

The new small items collection functionality was built for Brent Council’s installation of WasteWorks. Now, along with being able to view and download their waste collection schedules, report problems, request new containers and pay for garden waste subscriptions, residents in Brent can also use WasteWorks to access the council’s free bookable small items collection service. 

Examples of how Brent's small item collection booking service looks on desktop on mobile

Integrated with the Selected Interventions Echo in-cab system used by Brent Council’s waste contractor Veolia, WasteWorks takes residents through an intuitive request workflow within which they can select from a list of items included in the small items collection service and book a time slot according to availability. Each request created via WasteWorks is automatically sent into Echo for staff and contractors to manage directly.

Using this feature, residents can also cancel a booking for a small item collection, or report that a collection has been missed. The integration between WasteWorks and Echo will allow the council to keep residents informed on the progress of their requests and reports.

Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure, and Climate Action, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for residents to get rid of your items in the most environmentally friendly way possible, as well as making it easy as possible. I welcome this partnership and look forward to working with SocietyWorks on this service.”

Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “We take pride in the fact that each of our digital solutions is developed in collaboration with councils. This new feature of WasteWorks built in partnership with Brent Council is another great example of how the product continues to grow in line with the needs of councils and their residents.”

Find out more about WasteWorks or if you’re an existing WasteWorks client and you’d like to use this new feature please speak to your account manager.


Bulky waste added to Bromley Council’s WasteWorks service

Working in partnership with Bromley Council, we have added some new functionality to the Council’s installation of our WasteWorks solution to enable residents to book bulky waste collections online.

WasteWorks was co-designed with Bromley and introduced in the Borough in 2021 as a smart and user-friendly way for residents to access residential waste services online. Residents already use the service to check their bin days, report a problem with a collection, request a new or extra container and subscribe to green waste collections. 

WasteWorks is a progressive web app, optimised to work perfectly on all devices

By integrating with existing systems, WasteWorks creates a consistent front door to all aspects of a council’s waste service, sharing information between residents, contractors and back again, which has already achieved a 40% drop in avoidable customer contact for Bromley.

Integrated with the Selected Interventions Echo in-cab system, which is used by Bromley’s waste contractor Veolia, as well as with the Capita Pay 360 payment system, residents can now also use WasteWorks to book and pay for collections for residential bulky waste items, such as carpets, furniture and white goods.

Screenshot of Bromley's bulky waste booking service on WasteWorks
Residents can book bulky waste collections through WasteWorks, as well as view existing bookings

Residents wanting to use the service will be guided through a simple and intuitive workflow which enables them to select the type of item to be collected, reserve an available time slot and pay for the collection. WasteWorks can also handle cancellation and refund requests, as well as missed collection reports.

Jim Cowan, Head of Neighbourhood Management at the London Borough of Bromley said: “Placing the bulky waste collection service onto the WasteWorks platform is another step in making access to our services even better for our residents. Access to waste collection information, recycling container orders, enquiries and bulky waste bookings is now a one stop shop. 

“Moving from the existing server platform for bulky waste to cloud through WasteWorks is a key element of Bromley’s digital transformation plan, and the integration into Veolia’s Echo logistic system improves administration and fleet efficiency – just two of the many reasons why working with our partner SocietyWorks has yet again given us the outcome we desired”.  

Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks, said: “The addition of the bulky waste functionality marks another milestone in our partnership with Bromley Council. 

“The team at Bromley have been involved in the development of WasteWorks from day one, and we’re proud to support them with another innovative service transition that meets the needs of residents.”

Find out more about WasteWorks here.


Share preemptive messaging with residents through WasteWorks

Through integration with in-cab systems, our front-end residential waste solution WasteWorks can retrieve updates and display them to residents in a user-friendly way. 

These updates are intended to preempt common questions residents might have about their waste collections to reduce the need for them to contact the council via phone or email. 

Depending on the type of information available within the in-cab system, updates can relate to anything from sharing when a resident’s bin will next be collected to confirming that a collection has happened or explaining why a collection was unsuccessful.

In doing this, councils can eliminate avoidable customer contact and its associated costs by enabling residents to self-serve key, time-sensitive information. 

How does preemptive messaging work via WasteWorks?

Updates are retrieved via API integration with in-cab systems and can be served as messages to users in a number of ways.

For example, if a resident goes to report that their collection has been missed and the in-cab system knows the reason is because there was a vehicle obstructing the road, messaging can be displayed to inform the resident of this and explain next steps.

Example of some preemptive messaging displayed via Bromley Council’s WasteWorks service

Equally, messaging can be displayed to explain that no collection was carried out at an address because the waste was not presented, and the missed collection report form can be disabled until the next collection round has begun. 

Additionally, councils may want to share messaging on the homepage of their WasteWorks service about planned changes to collection schedules in advance of bank holidays, so that residents know what to expect.

Notifying residents of changes to bin collection schedules

In the event of councils needing to make changes to scheduled collections, this information is best shared with residents before they need to go looking for it.

Example of how residents can download their collection schedule from WasteWorks

WasteWorks gives residents the ability to download the collection schedule for their property to their device’s calendar. Any changes made to the schedule will be reflected directly and automatically. 

It’s also possible to integrate the service with GOV.UK Notify to send notifications to residents via text or email about waste collections. 

Want to learn more about WasteWorks? There’s more information here, or why not book a short demo with the team.

Image: Centre for Ageing Better


Brent Council transforms digital offering for two key service areas with SocietyWorks

Brent Council is working with SocietyWorks to improve the online experience for residents when contacting the authority about two of its most in-demand services: residential waste and street and environment reporting.   

Residents in Brent can now make use of two new digital portals, both powered by SocietyWorks’ citizen-centred technology: one for making waste-related requests, reports and payments online, using WasteWorks; the other for reporting street and environmental problems, using FixMyStreet Pro.

Branded to look exactly like the rest of Brent Council’s online environment and integrated directly with the Council’s existing asset, in-cab and payment systems, both WasteWorks and FixMyStreet Pro have enabled the council to facilitate a smooth transition for residents and staff, with no interruption to delivery. These integrations also permit information to be shared to and from residents, the Council and its contractors to help keep the feedback loop closed and improve resident satisfaction.

Brent Council's installation of WasteWorks, through which residents can access all aspects of waste services online
Brent Council’s installation of WasteWorks, through which residents can access their waste services online

Brent Council’s dedicated instance of WasteWorks simplifies access to waste services online by providing one front door for all transactions, such as reporting a missed collection, ordering a new container or paying for a subscription to a green waste collection. Through integration, the portal can provide real-time updates about collections to residents to help Brent close the feedback loop, manage expectations and avoid unnecessary contact.

The portal was designed in collaboration with Bromley Council, and was shortlisted for the Public/Private Partnership award at the LGC Awards 2022. For Brent, we hope to replicate the success Bromley has seen with WasteWorks, with a 40% drop in unnecessary contact within the first few months of launching and a continual rise in subscriptions to waste services.

Meanwhile, through FixMyStreet Pro, residents can report local problems such as potholes, blocked drains and fly-tipping. The solution is designed as a progressive web app, giving residents the option to use it as an app or a website, with no obligation either way. It also has the unique ability to automatically triage reports on a nationwide scale, including to Transport for London, which reduces avoidable contact and eliminates manual intervention.

Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “Consistency is key when it comes to improving the digital experience for residents, and with both WasteWorks and FixMyStreet Pro working in tandem for Brent, residents will benefit from using an efficient and intuitive interface across two different but equally in-demand service areas. It is a pleasure to collaborate with a council that takes such a forward-thinking and thorough approach to digital transformation.”

If you would like to know more about FixMyStreet Pro or WasteWorks, request a free, informal demo here.


Join our residential waste webinar for local authorities

On 25 April we’ll be hosting a webinar for local authorities focused on our digital residential waste management service WasteWorks, and we’d love for you to join us.

During the webinar we’ll demonstrate how the service works for local authorities, show how it integrates with different in-cab and payment systems and discuss the impact it has had so far for councils, their residents and their contractors.

Now available on the recently launched G-Cloud 13 framework, WasteWorks was designed in collaboration with Bromley Council and Veolia to simplify access to waste services online and reduce unnecessary contact to the council. It was also shortlisted for a LGC Award 2022 in the Public/Private Partnership category.

Come along to the webinar to:

  • learn about WasteWorks’ features and see how they work;
  • understand how different councils are using the software and how it is achieving a 40% drop in unnecessary contact while increasing Direct Debit subscriptions;
  • have the chance to ask questions about how the software could work for you.

Get your free ticket for the webinar on Eventbrite.


SocietyWorks provides the London Borough of Sutton with new online waste service

The London Borough of Sutton has become the latest council to adopt SocietyWorks’ digital residential waste management portal, WasteWorks, to more efficiently and transparently manage resident access to waste services online.

SocietyWorks is providing a dedicated version of its integrated online waste management portal, WasteWorks, to the London Borough of Sutton. Through the portal, residents can access the council’s domestic waste services, including checking their collection days and requesting new bins, as well as subscribing to and paying for green waste subscriptions, all from within the same self-service workflow.

WasteWorks was launched in 2021 in collaboration with Bromley Council and Veolia, and was shortlisted for a LGC Award 2022. For Sutton, the portal is integrated with Veolia Echo and Barclaycard to provide a more convenient, seamless and transparent online experience for residents, while streamlining processes for staff and contractors to help reduce avoidable contacts and better manage expectations. 

The introduction of WasteWorks is a joint venture between the London Borough of Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, whose own dedicated version of the portal launched a few months ago for handling green waste. This comes as part of the ongoing improvements being established by the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP), of which both councils are members.

Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “It is always an honour to be trusted by a council to introduce a new service and bring about sought-after improvements for citizens. We’re proud to have the backing of the SLWP in introducing WasteWorks for the boroughs of Sutton and Kingston upon Thames. Together, we can deliver a unified digital experience for residents, connecting multiple suppliers together while simplifying online access to waste services for residents.” 

Paul Brockwell, Interim Head of Waste and Street Cleaning at London Borough of Sutton said: “The London Borough of Sutton recently opted for WasteWorks to provide digital waste solutions for our Waste collection service, having witnessed the great work already achieved at The London Borough of Bromley. The system has enabled Sutton Council to provide a seamless and much improved online experience for Sutton residents. SocietyWorks has been extremely sensitive to our needs as an organisation and worked tirelessly to provide the authority with solutions in a very short timeframe that benefit the borough as a whole.”

Take a look at WasteWorks for the London Borough of Sutton.

Find out more about WasteWorks.


SocietyWorks provides the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames with a new online waste portal

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has chosen SocietyWorks’ self-service waste portal WasteWorks, for managing resident access to waste online more efficiently and transparently, starting with garden waste and looking ahead to incorporate wider domestic waste services.

Residents of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames will now be able to access the council’s garden waste services via a dedicated version of SocietyWorks’ new online waste portal WasteWorks, which was launched in 2021 in collaboration with Bromley Council and Veolia. Using the portal, residents will be able to view their garden waste subscriptions, order new containers and use one-off card payments for non recurring subscriptions, all within the same workflow. There will soon be a Direct Debit function for residents to use for recurring subscriptions, too. While initially focused on improving the resident experience for garden waste, plans are in place to roll WasteWorks out to manage the council’s wider domestic waste service transactions. 

Optimised to work on whatever device residents want to use, WasteWorks will enable the Council to provide a more convenient and seamless online experience for residents thanks to integration with the council’s in-cab system provided by Veolia Echo and payment provider Capita. WasteWorks will also help to deliver a more transparent waste service by enabling a two-way flow of information to keep residents informed on the status of their waste subscriptions, payments, reports and requests. Customer services will be able to use the same user-centred workflow to manage waste subscriptions on behalf of residents over the phone.

The introduction of WasteWorks, which was recently shortlisted for a LGC Award 2022 in conjunction with Bromley Council, is a joint venture between the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the London Borough of Sutton, whose own dedicated version of the portal is currently in development. This comes as part of the ongoing improvements being established by the South London Waste Partnership, of which both Kingston and Sutton are members. The two councils approached SocietyWorks to help further digitise their existing online domestic waste system and move towards a consistent approach to online waste services across the boroughs, which will also benefit their shared waste provider Veolia by improving communication between its in-cab system, the councils and residents.

Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “We’re delighted to be helping the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames bring its online waste system in line with resident expectations. It’s always a pleasure to work with councils that not only put resident needs first, but also work very collaboratively with neighbouring councils and their other external partners to deliver more wide-reaching improvements. We look forward to helping more councils across the UK do the same.” 

Councillor John Sweeney, Portfolio Holder for Business, Recycling and Customer Contact added: “We are excited to be one of the first boroughs to use this innovative system. This new online portal will allow residents to more easily keep track of their subscription payments. It is great to know that this system has been developed with another London council and we look forward to rolling it out across the borough.”

Scott Edgell, General Manager, Veolia SLWP said: “Our teams work hard to serve over 70,000 Kingston households with recycling and waste collections, including 14,000 signed up to the garden waste collection service. We’re so pleased to be supporting Kingston Council with the implementation of their new waste portal with the help of SocietyWorks, so that the high quality service we strive to deliver to residents is reflected in a better experience online, and look forward to the platform’s development in Sutton.”

Take a look at The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames’ new green waste system or contact us to discuss how WasteWorks could work for your authority.


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