As lockdown restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted in some parts of the world, some companies in the waste and recycling space are adapting to encourage social distancing efforts at their facilities. In the U.K., West Berkshire Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) has recently reopened its recycling centers May 14 per government guidance.
In the process, HWRC reports that it partnered with U.K.-based BookingLab, a solutions provider for the delivery of tailored customer journeys for bookings and transport, and JRNI, an SaaS scheduling platform, to support its reopened centers. According to a news release from BookingLab, the booking system is designed to manage traffic, encourage social distancing and discourage unscheduled or unnecessary visits. The system was built by BookingLab based on technology from JRNI.
West Berkshire Council has also leveraged JRNI Forward, a product suite designed to help businesses return to normal in the wake of the pandemic. JRNI reports that West Berkshire Council is using a tool called “Appointments,” which offers community members the ability to set up specific times to visit the recycling center and help manage the flow of traffic into the site.
“In line with government guidance, the decision to reopen the recycling sites has been a priority for the council,” says Steve Ardagh-Walter, executive member for the environment at West Berkshire Council. “Staff at the recycling sites will ensure that social distancing guidelines of keeping at least 2 meters [or about 6 feet] apart are adhered to. Therefore, we urge all visitors to please be patient and leave plenty of time for their visit. With the reopening of both sites, it means that anyone with accumulated waste that cannot safely be stored can now dispose of it properly.”
Ardagh-Walter says he is encouraging the public to only use West Berkshire Council’s recycling sites if they have valid bookings.
Since reopening May 14, BookingLab reports that the new system at West Berkshire Council’s HWRC sites managed 5,400 bookings that first week.
“We’re excited to be able to support the digital transformation of the centers in accordance with government guidelines,” says Chad Duggan, founder and managing director of BookingLab. “In collaboration with JRNI we were able to get the project up and running.”
“The demand for prearranged bookings is so pronounced within the current environment,” adds John Federman, CEO of JRNI. “We’re thrilled to be part of this project with BookingLab and look forward to providing similar services across the U.K.”