Waste Transformation Week Notes - Week 4



So we don’t jinx ourselves, I am touching every wooden item around me as I say this – report a missed waste collection is live and successful!

There are three forms in total that relate to missed waste, one for reporting refuse and recycling, one to report missed garden waste and an internal general enquiry form so that Contact Centre staff can send messages direct to our crews on the road.

So much has gone into the development of these processes. It starts with an online form that can give real time information from the Bin Crews as they are working, that data is used by customers as well as the Contact Centre and vice versa, data can be sent from the forms to update the tablets that are used by the driver in the cab!

This is a streamlined process that has been fine-tuned over the last year or so and as a council we are very lucky to have something this technical in place as many local authorities are only just starting on this journey.

internet to waste truck to empty bin


Test and test again…..

Our testing is always very thorough with each process, and as mentioned in previous blogs, we follow a robust test plan. For this process we have to ensure the form looks and works correctly for the users (customers and staff) but then also that the back end workflow processes work correctly once the submitted forms comes into us. This includes going on the corresponding reports, for the correct crews to empty the bin.

We did come across a problem with our garden waste reports just before we were about to switch the forms on. However, as we are a multi-disciplinary team we were able to work through the issue and fix it on the spot so we still met our deadline. Working collaboratively really helps us to achieve our goals and put all of the pieces together.

We went live after 5pm again, this gave us the opportunity to have some face to face training with Customer Services staff in the morning to demonstrate how to use the new forms for missed waste. Some members of the Service Design team spent time in the contact centre to provide instant support whenever it was needed.

User research

This week has had a real focus on the training that we have provided, to see what has worked and how we can improve for future go live dates. This has meant focusing on what users truly needed to know and the best approaches to take. We have found that creating guides for users seems to work well, as it becomes a reference point that can be re used. Demonstrations seem to have helped to, and having our digital team around to support has given users confidence when trying the new forms out the first few times.

It has also been a busy week on our customer panel inbox, customerpanel@blackburn.gov.uk - this is address is provided on all emails customers receive so that they can provide feedback or request support from the User Researcher. This has become a really useful tool for us, and for customers. We get feedback that helps us make improvements to our services, and customers receive any relevant support. No customer goes unanswered, as we want them to feel they have been heard.


Our actions for the coming week:

     - Upload all of the people on assisted bin collections to DCP.

     - Test and prepare the assistance forms for go live.

     - Add mobile working to our bin delivery and collection forms.


We welcome feedback, questions or comments from anyone, so please do feel free to contact us at: customerpanel@blackburn.gov.uk

By Katie Leake on 11th Nov 2021
Katie Leake is an Assistant Service Designer with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council