Wigan's new waste collection technology proves to be a winner

The success of a new system to manage waste collections in Wigan has been recognised with a prestigious award.

Wigan Council has received the highly regarded Certificate of Excellence from the iESE for its waste collection technology, which has seen an increase in pro-active communication with residents, slashed inquiry resolution times and cut paper usage by more than 70 per cent.

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The waste collection crews now complete rounds equipped with an Apple iPad, which allows them to record information such as missed collections or contamination issues while on the move.

Barry Lunt and Ian McMillanBarry Lunt and Ian McMillan
Barry Lunt and Ian McMillan
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This data is automatically shared with the council’s CRM system so residents can access information on any issue with their service in close to near time via their online portal or the council’s call centre.

Coun Paul Prescott, the council’s cabinet portfolio holder for environment, said: “It’s brilliant to see the work of our dedicated waste collection teams – both those on the frontline and those behind the scenes who ensure the smooth running of the service – working in partnership to work creatively and innovatively to find digital solutions.

“This fantastic new software ties in perfectly with the council’s ambition to create a digitally enabled borough and provide a high-quality service to residents.

“Throughout the pandemic our waste collection teams have worked tirelessly, through rain and shine, with no changes to planned collections, so we’re pleased that the implementation of this software has been recognised in this way.”

Ian McMillan at work on the waste collectionIan McMillan at work on the waste collection
Ian McMillan at work on the waste collection
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Wigan’s new “in-cab” solution came from Whitespace, a provider of waste management software to local authorities and the public sector.

The Whitespace system integrates with sat-nav software and the council’s operational system to optimise collection routes and help cut down vehicle mileage, together with the associated fuel and emissions, which ties in with the council’s efforts to make its processes more energy efficient and kinder on the environment.

Whitespace’s commercial director, Mike Nicholls, said: “It’s fantastic that Wigan Council’s commitment to customer service and the environment has been recognised by such a well-respected organisation. We look forward to continuing to work with Wigan Council to develop the system and help them further realise the benefits of automation and digitisation across the borough.”

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