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Leeds uses open data in bin app


Prototype version harnesses datasets from city council for testing by the public

Leeds City Council has made a prototype smartphone app available for checking bin collections, using open data from its waste management department.

It has been developed by local SME software developer Imactivate following a Sustainable Development Lab session. The company was one of a number given waste management datasets and invited to pitch solutions that use the information to encourage recycling.

Among the features on the app are the ability for users to check their bin collection day and set up an alert, and an interactive map showing recycling sites and the top four most used customer web links on bin collections.

It was launched earlier this month and Imactivate has made it available on Google Play and the Apple App Store for people to test it over six weeks.

It has been developed as part of Leeds’ membership of the UK Smart Cities network, that involves opening up council datasets to third parties to develop new service solutions.

The open data was made available through the Leeds Data Mill, a civic enterprise partnership that makes council datasets available on a single website.

Simple is best

Councillor James Lewis, executive member for resources and strategy, said: “The concept for the bin app is simple but the best ideas usually are.

“This is another example of what can be achieved when we make our data open on the data mill to be used by the digital talent in our city. We’re firmly behind the Leeds Data Mill as we know we can improve the services we provide when people help us make these digital public services.

“We’re happy to support digital innovations that help make our services even more accessible to residents, who are increasingly used to online transactions and want to be able to find what they need quickly and easily at times that suit them.”

The council said its decision on whether to release the app more widely will depend on the outcome of the prototype tests.

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