The first half of 2016 has seen Ferrovial Services’ Centre of Excellence for Cities
, in collaboration with Amey
, launch four innovation projects in the UK. All iniciatives are part of the Amey Urban Innovation Programme and aim to combine a more efficient service delivery with an better citizen and worker experience.
Tackling waste contamination in Slough
In January, a six-month trial of electronically activated recycling bins began in Slough. Amey and Slough Borough Council decided to run the trial to tackle the growing problem of waste contamination for bins at blocks of flats. Around 200 households with communal recycling facilities had recycling bins installed that can only be opened with an electronic fob. It is hoped that the scheme will stop residents and non-residents misusing the bins and help reverse a rise in the number of recycling loads rejected at the waste plant due to contamination. Nick Hannon, environmental strategy and governance manager for Slough Borough Council
, said: “Contaminated recycling ends up being disposed of as normal waste, which costs the taxpayer three times as much and isn’t as kind to the environment. Being secure, these bin shelters and the lockable wheeled bins should prevent anyone who doesn’t have a fob from dumping non-recyclable items in with the recycling.” Early findings are showing that recycling has increased by an average of the 11% compared to the previous situation. Also contamination has reduced significantly. Before the implementation of the Shelters, in average, 60% of the recycling was rejected due to contamination, but after the implementation just an average of almost the 15% is rejected.
Plymouth residents use smartphones to improve road network
An innovative app called Changify
is being tested in Plymouth that could change the way that highways issues in the area are managed. The app puts citizens in the driving seat of decision-making. Which issues are more urgent or more important than others? It is the only software in the UK that allows local residents to report issues by taking pictures on their phone then sharing the issue with other app users who can vote on what affects them the most. With over 100 people now signed up and testing the app, it is hoped that the project can be officially launched in the coming weeks. Paul Anderson Account Director at Amey said: “We are hoping Changify will enable us to further tap into the views of Plymouth residents. Feedback from clients and stakeholders is normally gathered through consultations and meetings but through this innovative prototype we will be able to collate real-time direct feedback that will enable us to drive a better service.”
Improving the wellbeing of waste collectors in Wolverhampton
In collaboration with Ferrovial Innovation and Processes Area, the Centre of Excellence for Cities and Amey have developed a project, where 28 volunteers, part of the waste collection service in Wolverhampton, have been wearing ‘smart’ vests that monitor their health and wellbeing in a bid to understand the impact their work has on them. In the demanding world of waste collection, fatigue and stress can affect people and operations. So that we gain a better understanding of the physical and psychological dimensions of this work, ‘wearable technology’ which monitors heart rate, respiration, pace, posture and stress levels is now being tested by volunteers in our Wolverhampton-based crews. Before the start of the trial, the volunteers were surveyed to better understand their motivations and opinion around wearables technology applied to Health and Safety. More than half of the volunteers wanted to be part of the trial because they wanted to have a better understanding of their health conditions while working. The measurement period of the initiative has already finished and we are looking forward to analysing the data from this project over the coming weeks.
Commitment to urban innovation
These initiatives are part of Ferrovial Services’ strategy to support cities in developing innovation focused on citizens, enhancing services using the most innovative solutions and cutting-edge technologies, and contributing to the development of society by supporting urban entrepreneurship.