• Success Story
  • Blaby District Council

Blaby District Council: How automated forms and real-time communications combine for efficient waste bin collection


Blaby District, located in Leicestershire, UK, leveraged Granicus’ govService integration capability to develop a new automated Missed Collection process by connecting with previous waste software data. As a result, Blaby was able to easily make new options available to customers, improve ease of use for crews improved, and save large amounts of in-house administration time.


  • 50% Reduction of missed waste collection reports unresolved
  • £50,000 Savings in waste management crew time alone in the first year
  • Approx. 36.5 tonnes CO2- equivalent emissions reduced
Must have Granicus Solutions

Finding Ways to Create More Effective Waste Collection 

Few things can be more annoying than not having a wastebin emptied on collection day.

While Leicestershire’s Blaby District may have a relatively small area of 130 square kilometres, the nearly 100,000 residents in its nearly 44,000 households require consistent waste removal services.

In December 2019, Blaby District Council’s Refuse and Recycling team procured new waste software, Whitespace, which uses in-cab technology so crews can update their status as they go through their routes and receive notifications and updates in real-time. Even with these improved communications, many households would still face missed collections.

From unavoidable problems such as road blockages to common mistakes such as putting out the wrong bin or placing it for collection after the crew had already come, the impact on waste collection routes could come in a variety of ways. Crews only return to empty the bin if a genuine mistake was made by the crew or if they couldn’t access it initially. In all other cases, the customer is considered at fault and must wait until their next collection.

Reporting these missed collections was previously done through a basic online process through the Blaby website, one that had no integration with Whitespace’s automated notifications, routing the requests to Customer Services emails, who would then handle that report manually. If a customer phoned to report a missed collection staff had to enter data into Whitespace manually.

To better address the problems created by this process, the council introduced a new version of their Missed Collection process in 2022 for customers to report when their bin has not been emptied.


Technology Working Together

Blaby leveraged Granicus’ govService integration capability to hook into the Whitespace API which enabled them to transform their existing waste-related digital processes, both for information that is shown to the customer and to create tasks for the Refuse and Recycling team. Utilising Whitespace’s capabilities further, new options were made available to customers, the ease of use for the crew improved, and large amounts of administration time was saved in house, earning Balby District Council a place as finalist in the 2022 Granicus Digital Public Sector Awards’ Operational Efficiency category.

By connecting customers to the Whitespace system directly through the website, govService took away the need for manual interventions, thanks to a new, fully-automated form that removes the need for Customer Services staff to handle email notifications. And since the form is also available to Blaby’s internal databases, automated checks are completed and staff no longer need enter data into Whitespace manually.

The connection also helps benefit waste collection crews, using the in-cab technology to update progress real-time, and provide the most accurate information at the time that forms are completed. Crews can report why a bin could not be emptied, giving customers relevant information quickly, as well as let customers know if a second attempt would be made. This two-way form-driven communication also lets customers report a genuine missed collection, notifying the crew in-cab immediately so they can resolve the issue the same day.

From giving information regarding crew location to providing customers options for collection options, the combination of govService tools and Whitespace technology creates clearer communication with the customers and a streamlined process for the crews, Customer Services, and the Refuse and Recycling team.


Better Communication, Savings in Costs

The integrations provided in Blaby’s new Missed Collections process resulted in savings across a variety of areas, including crew time, fuel (and, therefore, vehicle emissions), vehicle use, and Customer Service and Back-office Refuse and Recycling team time, just to name a few.

For customers, as well, the impact of the changes were felt almost immediately. In the first four and a half months from the launch of the form, 51% of the 832 customers who reported a missed collection resulted in the crew having to return to the property. Scaling those numbers up to a full year suggests that the council would not need to return in around 1,100 cases where a customer tried to report a missed collection.

The Refuse and Recycling team estimate that each time the crew did not have to return unnecessarily, they saved between £29 and £43 depending on factors like the distance travelled, traffic conditions etc.

Overall, that suggests savings somewhere between £30,000 and £50,000 for the crews alone, not including all the saved time for Customer Services and the back-office Refuse and Recycling team.

Prior to these improvements, not every submitted Missed Collection form would have resulted in a crew having to return to the property, but at the very least each unnecessary report would have generated work for someone to review it.

The Refuse and Recycling team estimate that each missed collection revisit would be on average about 10 miles. The bin lorries emit about 3.38kg CO2-equivalent per mile.

Over a year, Blaby District Council therefore estimate that they have saved approximately 36.5 tonnes CO2- equivalent emissions by avoiding those 1,100 revisits.

Blaby District Council are currently working on a new version of their Bulky Item Collection process which will bring similar advantages. The existing process uses printed reports of collections each day, but the new version will create bookings directly in Whitespace so the crew will be able to use the same in-cab technology for bulky item collections.

Their work has already been recognised by a neighbouring council, who have approached for advice about the advantages of an in-cab system. Blaby demonstrated to them both the technology and potential savings when maximising the use of intelligent online forms.

They are also communicating the good news internally to other departments and senior leadership in the hope that they can generate similar success stories with other teams.