• 23rd August 2018 at 1:00PM
  • Written by Tim Woolven
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Yotta are committed to ensuring that Alloy remains the best environmental services management software solution on the market, and by bringing people like Tim on board (who rather disturbingly get excited when you talk them to about rubbish), Yotta are continually improving and expanding our vision of what is possible for the waste industry.

Tim wrote this great blog for our customers, both to introduce himself and to articulate what he thinks makes Alloy the best software solution on the market for waste management service providers.


Hi. I’m Tim,


I recently left the operational waste management industry to join Yotta – a software company! Although you wouldn’t think it, people’s faces used to light up when I said I worked for a waste management company because they had all kinds of bin-related questions, however software doesn’t tend to get quite the same reaction.

That’s why I’d like to explain why I now get excited about software. It’s why I was compelled to leave a role and industry that I love to join a company that are committed to affecting positive change in the waste management sector.

In previous roles I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with some of the best people in the industry. I’ve worked across a variety of local authorities urban to rural, district to unitary. I’ve also worked in the private sector delivering waste collection services for authorities. So, in short, I’ve been about a bit and seen the UK public waste sector from lots of different angles.

One of the main reasons I joined Yotta was the strap line ‘From Data to Decisions’. This is right up my street. The biggest service improvements I’d ever made in departments were delivered through my understanding of data, challenging the norm with evidence and not accepting the ‘well that’s just how it’s done’ mentality that is, unfortunately I feel, prolific across our industry.

I think we all know it’s time to bring the waste sector into the 21st century, and stop just paying lip service to the idea that data can be used to improve services and safety, save money and generate income.

There is a wealth of automatically captured data out there; tipping times, vehicle weights, vehicle telemetry, fuel usage, miles travelled, bin lift counts, number of complaints & compliments (we’d all like more of the latter) and camera footage, to name a few. As vehicles and smart devices get ‘smarter’ and as sensor technology becomes more commonplace, the amount of data available to waste operators and local authorities will grow exponentially. Exciting hey!? I agree, although I’m sorry to say there are a couple of buts coming…


Are we ready for this influx of data?

Many authorities have trouble collecting and submitting accurate waste data flow information; environmental returns from waste disposal sites are often best guesses, and we all know that unfortunately the best way to build a collection or sweeping round remains a photocopied map, a couple of highlighters and the most experienced drivers you have to hand. Authorities will need to commit to reviewing and improving their information management strategies to ensure that they’re collecting, understanding, analysing and reporting on data in a way that provides useful and actionable operational insight.

Are we willing to change how we do things?

Operationally, we walk into the same challenges every day. Although we are adapting slowly, we are still, as an old boss of mine used to say, ‘leading with our chin’ more often than not. Supervisors spend less time overseeing and more time fighting fires and responding to endless emails. Less time is involved in managing, developing staff, maintaining health and safety standards, and more time is spent chasing Mrs Miggins’ missed Bin. Also, let’s face it: funding cuts across the collection and disposal authorities are unlikely stop. So, I think we really need to find a way to truly revolutionise our industry by becoming more efficient and achieving more with less. That’s where Yotta can add value by partnering with our customers to help them introduce and manage organisational change in a sustainable manner, resulting in increased efficiency and better outcomes.

The waste industry has huge potential to change and I want to be at the crest of that wave of change. I want to use my experiences and knowledge, seasoned with a dash of healthy cynicism, to help develop and build systems that can truly make the most of all the data out there.

In the future, I hope to see waste data flow information available at the click of a button (not a spreadsheet in sight). I dream of supervisors and operational managers being provided with real-time data to make decisions (think dynamic collection routes based on real-time and historical data). Imagine! I also want to see lives and limbs saved by vehicle and equipment sensors making our industry as safe as possible, and dollars saved without service sacrifices. Finally, I want to see decisions made based on accurate, well-understood data! There’s so much more to say about big data within the waste industry but don’t even get me started… I’m already over my word limit.

That’s my vision, that’s Yotta’s vision and I think a fair few of you in the waste industry are ready to join us!