Municipality of Harderwijk
A step forward for everyone involved
Clear communication, fewer questions from residents
and more flexibility in the organisation of efficient waste
collection were necesary. Harderwijk's new personalised waste
collection calendar has made all of this
The municipality of Harderwijk gathers all kinds of
waste from no fewer than 18,000 'collection points'. This waste
includes organic, paper, glass, chemical and others. Plastic is
separated from the other waste after collection. In 2010 the local
authority introduced a number of improvements to the waste
collection system, also in relation to the communication
Mini containers with a built-in chip
The first steps were taken in 2010 when all the mini
containers were replaced with ones which had a built-in chip.
Previously the containers had not been registered per household.
The new system would prevent households from using multiple
containers without paying the extra fee required. As policy
administrator for Public Space Management, Fred van Tol is in
charge of the waste collection system in Harderwijk: "By
introducing the chip, all of the containers could be registered. In
this way we could monitor the number of containers per household.
Furthermore, there has been a reduction in the amount of containers
needed. This cuts down costs. We also introduced the paper
container in 2010. Households now have three containers at their
disposal: for organic, paper and general waste."
1 to 1 communication on waste
Additionally, the municipality of Harderwijk also
wanted to simplify communication with regard to waste. Every year,
households have to pay local charges like property, sewer and
waste taxes. These are sent to the residents' individual addresses.
We also have the waste collection calendar, which is also delivered
to individual households. "We wanted to discontinue this system and
thanks to the new waste collection calendar from AddComm we now
have one less thing to worry about," says van
Since 2011, Harderwijk has been using a fully
personalised waste collection calendar. The waste collection
company ACONOV supplies the collection routes and the planning.
"The local tax department compares the number of households with
the charges. Thanks to this information they have a lot more
control over the process." AddComm produces and sends the printed
material, to which the local authority sets certain demands.
"AddComm called it the waste indicator at first, but we wanted it
to be more like a real calendar prominently featuring the
collection dates and icons for various kinds of waste. On the
inside there is an explanation of how the system works in
Harderwijk. With AddComm we were able to decide on the form and
content ourselves. This meant we could give the calendar a look
that was 100% Harderwijk, using the style which residents are
familiar with," says Fred van Tol.
Because the new waste collection calendar is
addressed individually, residents pay more attention to this system
than to the previously unaddressed distribution system. "The
calendar doesn't accidentally disappear into the waste paper bin as
quickly any more. We've noticed the difference at city hall: Now we
have fewer and fewer people contacting us for a new copy of the
waste collection calendar. For this year we have extra spare
calendars for each neighbourhood. That probably won't be necessary
next year. Thanks to the digitalisation of the system we can now
print and distribute calendars if and when we need them. For
example, for new residents or businesses."
The municipality of Harderwijk also introduced a
digital version of the printed waste collection calendar. Residents
can download it via a link on the municipality of Hardewijk
website. Based on the postal code and the house number, the system
at AddComm generates a PDF with the correct waste collection
information. "New residents, in particular, are very happy with
this service," says Fred van Tol.
The system also offers more flexibility to the
collector of mini containers. Any given street can be added to a
different route on a different day without any problems: The system
automatically adjusts the calendar for the next year. "The
collector has more flexibility when it comes to allocating and
planning the routes. In terms of costs, this is also beneficial for
both us and the municipality. The system offers endless
possibilities. We could even zoom in more on the residents'
location For example, with a high-rise version for flats using
underground containers instead of mini containers. But everything
has its price, of course."
Fast and flexible
"The implementation was very flexible," says Fred
van Tol. "AddComm provided us with trial prints on a regular basis
and we were able to make changes right up until the last moment.
Nothing was too much trouble. My impression of AddComm is that of a
young and vibrant company. They keep their promises and act fast.
For example, we discovered a number of errors in the route
information. They saw to it on the very same day. They will
accommodate you at any time, even when they have already gone to
Waste collection calendar via SMS
Looking to the future, Fred van Tol expects to see a
definite shift from the printed to the digital calendar. "In the
end, Harderwijk aims to cut back on postage costs as much as
possible. In this way residents will be able to download their
waste collection calendar to their computer or smartphone. The
digital waste collection calendar is the future. Of course, some
people will want to receive the calendar digitally and others will
want one they can hang on the wall at home. In the future everybody
will be able to choose the manner in which they wish to receive
information. In other words, tailor-made."
In addition to the paper and digital waste
collection calendar, AddComm also offers the option of sending
weekly text messages. Van Tol can see the potential: "That would be
a great extra service for our residents. We will keep on top of
these kinds of developments and implement them where
A step forward
"We have taken an important step forward, both for
the residents and for the waste collection company, not to mention
the municipality itself. Communication with regard to waste
collection has become more personal and a lot clearer. We have
become more flexible and that will eventually lead to cost
reductions. All in all a major improvement for the people of