When waste management systems are under pressure, agility is critical

2020 is already proving to be a challenging year for local authorities, as uncontrollable forces and external influences put pressure on existing infrastructures. When the world is being tested to its limits, you need to be sure that the systems you have in place can keep essential services running – whatever happens.

As experts in municipal waste management, Whitespace is already helping hundreds of councils across the UK to maximise efficiency and responsiveness when it comes to community waste collections. We’re going to share some of our key learnings from these partnerships, to help local authorities develop an agile approach to waste management, when facing even the toughest infrastructural tests.

Enabling anytime, anywhere access

Even before recent global events, the remote working movement was gathering momentum, and forward-thinking councils are looking at how technology can support effective waste management protocol from any location.

Many waste management teams have been using manual systems like spreadsheets up until this point, but these aren’t easily accessible when people are working away from the main office. Additionally, challenges with document control can mean the wrong version of instructions ends up in someone’s hands.

Municipal waste management technology is critical to staff accessing centralised data and systems from any location – so they can continue their job, wherever they are. With a software-based platform, personnel can log on from any location with an internet connection, without needing to download programmes to their desktop.

The concept of anytime, anywhere access isn’t just important for back-office teams; it also improves communications with collection crews out on the streets. Everyone can collaborate closely, even if they are physically miles apart, to put the appropriate workflows in place and share up-to-date round sheets with every refuse vehicle.

Keeping abreast of an evolving situation

We’ve mentioned the importance of clear communication, and when essential services like waste collections are facing unforeseen pressures, providing accurate information is critical.

The right waste management platform supports clear, real-time data sharing, as updates can easily be made by key members of staff and distributed to relevant team members.

This is particularly important at times when official advice is changing or evolving, as waste management personnel can ensure that colleagues in the field are being sent the right instructions, and that health and safety checks and guidelines are up to date.

Responding to real situations in real-time

In the world of waste management, even the most thorough planning models cannot account for all human behaviour – so it’s not uncommon for unexpected demands to crop up during weekly or fortnightly collections.

One of the challenges that local authorities using outdated systems or processes face is reacting to issues at speed; a particularly large volume of rubbish or instance of fly tipping can’t be reported until the crew returns to the depot, and then it may take several days or weeks to rectify the problem.

Moving to an agile, technology-based approach enables clerical staff to establish direct contact with collection vehicles, who can use in-cab mobile software to report back any problems encountered during their rounds. Staff can react to this information straight away, issuing instant communications to other crews to help out where needed.

Empowering waste management teams for agile working

In an ever-changing world, we can’t predict what future pressures local infrastructure will face – but we can equip waste management teams with the agility to react to whatever lies ahead. Modern technology is giving councils the power to react to unforeseen scenarios quicker than ever before, and that includes the set-up of its back-office organisation.

We are rapidly moving towards a future in which remote working will be the normal standard. Platforms like Whitespace municipal waste management are empowering waste management teams to run a tight ship from any location, optimising processes in times of pressure, and providing a better work/life balance when operations are running as normal.

Book a free demo to see how Whitespace municipal waste management software works.


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