Closing The Loop on Waste


City of Canterbury Bankstown

Canterbury Bankstown, New South Wales

Project stage

In progress


Start date: 11 February 2019
End date: 30 June 2020

Project value

Australian Government funding:


  • Western Sydney University
  • ISF (Insititute for Sustainable Futures) - University of Technology Sydney Blue Chilli

Focus area

  • City and community planning
  • Public administration and customer service
  • Other

Project type

  • Community engagement
  • Smart waste
  • Smart governance
  • Integrated mobility

Technology type

  • Data Management (Data platform, open data, data privacy and security, blockchains, standards)
  • Smartphone applications
  • Hardware
  • IT systems (interoperability)

Project summary

The City of Canterbury Bankstown is currently undertaking a large-scale smart city project in the waste management space, called Closing the Loop on Waste.

This project aims to improve our resident's experience around Council waste services enabling our 365,000 residents to have a seamless waste service experience.

This project is focused on addressing and overcoming problems in four key areas – waste operations itself, sustainability and engagement, technology, and customer experiences.

The challenge

Currently, waste as a subject area accounts for 31 per cent of all enquiries between residents and Council’s Customer Service team, which equates to approximately 30,000 phone calls a year. This means there are 30,000 opportunities to engage with residents to help improve their experience with waste management services, whether this be improving their understanding on when waste collection days are, or why a bin may have been missed or not collected.  Contamination of recycling bins is predominantly caused by residents placing the wrong items in the bin. Council’s average contamination rate, right across the City, is 26 per cent, which is 10 per cent higher than the NSW average.

Currently, inspections of bins can only be conducted street-by-street and in a limited capacity by looking at the contents of someone’s bin from the top. By introducing cameras into our waste trucks and using advanced analytics, Council hopes to be able to undertake a more thorough examination of the contents of residents’ bins and get a big picture understanding of what people are putting into their bins right across the City. This will then present Council with a greater opportunity to engage and educate residents on placing the correct items into their bins and lead to a reduced rate of contamination.


As a Council, we want to proactively incorporate smart thinking into the daily lives of our residents, enabling them to make smart choices around waste and the impact their decision makes on the environment. Through a multi-faceted approach, this project will seek to improve citizen understanding around bin contamination, and particularly contamination in recycling bins.


This project is customer centric, and focuses on improving resident experiences with waste management and improving the way they provide and receive communication on waste issues. With residents at the forefront of this project’s purpose, the delivery of ‘Closing the loop’ focuses on long term sustainability. The project will deliver a profound service, seamlessly integrating itself into the fabric of everyday life, whereby residents are enabled to make informed and better decisions on their waste contribution. In ‘Closing the Loop’, this project is leading the way in transforming residential waste service delivery from beginning to end.

At the end of this project it is intended that processes and systems will be streamlined, and Council officers will have greater access to data to provide a better level of service to residents.


Name: Barbara Iordanidis