Performance Spotlight

Performance Spotlight

The performance spotlight provides stories and highlights on how the City is performing, how it is using continuous improvement to improve service delivery, and how it is making progress towards strategic goals.

Improving customer flow at the Residential Drop-off (RDO)

If you’ve ever spent a Saturday dropping off household waste at the Robin Hood Bay Regional Waste Management Facility, you know it’s a busy place. Each year 175,000 vehicles visit the RDO to dispose of waste, recyclables and hazardous household waste.

The process of disposing household waste and recycling at the RDO is orderly and systematic but during peak periods, like sunny Saturdays in summer for example, residents were experiencing significantly increased waiting times with queues of up to an hour. Long queues were frustrating for both the customer and for employees of the facility. What was really creating the long queues and how could it be improved? That’s what a CI project team set out to determine.        

A team of employees came together with the goal of improving customer satisfaction by decreasing overall wait times. The team first conducted some observational studies and a customer survey to get a better understanding of the problem. During timing exercises, the team observed a correlation between excessive queuing times and the number of household waste bins that were available. When bin availability was at a minimum, wait times were at a maximum. It was critical that bin availability/uptime be maximized to keep waiting times as low as possible.

A number of improvements were implemented to increase bin availability including; maintaining dedicated staff on Saturdays to compact bins; diverting specific waste such as trees, brush, and other yard waste to other dedicated areas of the landfill as opposed to the RDO; and ensuring that there were sufficient contracted trucks available to transport bins to the landfill to meet peak demand.

The result was a 30% improvement in customer wait times. That 57-minute wait was reduced to 40 minutes giving our customers more time to enjoy their sunny Saturday.