From waste collection to digitally supported sustainability
IVAGO is responsible for all waste collection and recycling in the city of Ghent and its surroundings. As an intermunicipal organization, it also manages six household recycling centres for waste disposal. Street sweeping is part of IVAGO’s responsibilities, too.
A future-proof and sustainable waste policy is at the heart of IVAGO’s mission. To achieve this goal, both internal efficiency and optimal information-sharing with citizens are key. Digital transformation, including a complete overhaul of existing digital platforms and the online consultation portal, would prove to be the way forward. The IVAGO team had established three key objectives for its project:
- Faster and more accessible sharing of information for both citizens and businesses, including personalized information for every website visitor. The aim was to provide residents with more accurate information and to improve collection figures for commercial waste.
- Improved internal efficiency through a more intuitive and feature-rich self-service portal for citizens. This, in turn, should lead to a reduced workload for the customer service team.
- Strengthening the IVAGO brand; both with citizens, companies and potential new employees.
Future-ready development with Drupal
Achieving these ambitious goals required a partner that would be able to both untangle complex technical systems and guide the IVAGO team towards true digital transformation. The choice for Drupal as the fundamental technical framework was an obvious first step. IVAGO’s internal editorial team was looking for strong content management capabilities that would allow marketers and copywriters to generate media through a ‘create once, publish everywhere’ model.
Dropsolid would prove to be the perfect match to execute on this strategy, thanks to the combination of Drupal expertise, prior experience with intermunicipal organizations and complex government projects.
We’re proud of the results achieved these first special months
An initial strategy track with Ordina Clockwork had led to the creation of a customer-centric digital blueprint, including customer journeys, user experience designs and wireframes. The Dropsolid team set to work to draw up a functional analysis, followed by development and implementation of a brand-new Drupal 8 website with an integrated online citizen portal.
In transitioning from customer journeys on paper to a fully-fledged digital experience, the following points were crucial:
- Maximum distribution of information and empowerment of citizens to encourage them to ownership of their attitude towards recycling. This would lead to improved waste collection numbers, fewer questions to the customer service desk and better waste separation by residents.
- Personalized online environment with individual tracking of household waste data and separate digital experiences for citizens and companies.
- Integrated and personalized bin collection calendar.
Mapping waste flows for environmental awareness
For the first time ever, IVAGO’s new digital platform offers citizens and businesses profound insights into their own waste production. Every resident and organization in the city of Ghent has access to its own private environment through Mijn IVAGO, a personalized platform that provides detailed statistics on their individual waste production. All statistics are linked to average household figures. This nudging effect increases environmental awareness. In addition, the personal recycling tips on the platform help improve accountability even further.
In practice: bin collection calendar
“When should I put out my bins for collection?” A very common question in many households. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the citizens of Ghent use IVAGO’s website to find out their rubbish collection day above all else. The Dropsolid strategists decided to integrate the interactive online bin collection calendar in various places on the website. The location-based calendar provides citizens with rapid access to their personalized bin collection schedule.
Behind the scenes, the calendar module is centrally managed. Updates on bin collection dates - e.g. during public holidays or strikes - can be pushed to all calendars through a single command.
Example of a personalized overview for city residents. Average household figures increase awareness and encourage waste reduction.
Online self-service portal
The personalized Mijn IVAGO platform offers access to the most frequently requested information. Answers are readily available in a Q&A format, which in turn reduces pressure on the IVAGO helpline.
Businesses also have access to their personalized environment, supported by a dedicated account manager.
Behind the scenes, the online platform is linked with the Diftar waste monitoring database and the CRM and ERP (SAP).
From intermunicipal organization to sustainability partner
The improved user experience improved both internal efficiency and customer centricity. In addition, IVAGO’s image with citizens and businesses improved significantly, which is quite a feat for an intermunicipal organization. This improved image also has a net positive effect towards hiring new employees.
- Drupal 8 as a flexible and future-proof foundation for online portal and website.
- Full integration with existing ERP for data exchange (contracts, invoices, outstanding balances, etc.)
- Integration with eID and itsme for easy authentication and login to online self-service portal.
- Doccle integration for online access to invoices.
- MailChimp integration for newsletters.
Project throughput time from start to go-live was less than a year. This is exceptionally short for a fully-fledged digital transformation of this size. The new digital platform is easily accessible through any device, loads faster than ever and offers personalized information to every user. The workload behind the scenes is also significantly lower: new info can be published easily across different channels using a single source. This provides the IVAGO team with all the tools they need to raise awareness with citizens and businesses on the importance of reducing waste.
The platform was also awarded as best website runner up in the category 'Non-profit & Government', during the Dutch Splash Awards in 2020.