Biffa is the leading nationwide integrated waste management business providing collection, treatment, recycling and technologically-driven energy generation services.
A part of Biffa’s service offering is the Green Waste Club. Launched in 2005, the Green Waste Club gives residents the opportunity to recycle their garden waste in a cost effective and convenient way.
The Green Waste Club is a subscription-based club providing the customer with a wheeled bin that is collected fortnightly from the edge of their property. Since the launch, over 45,000 residents have joined and together they have diverted over 70,000 tonnes of garden waste from landfill.
Biffa required a website and administration platform to manage the Green Waste Club. The website needed to operate as a front-end tool for attracting new members and allowing them to sign-up while also acting as a web platform for members to view their account information and administration staff managing the club.
The Green Waste Club project also required integration with other proprietary platforms both internal and external to the organisation.
The Green Waste Club project was a close collaboration between our development team and the GWC team at Biffa. We adopted an agile development methodology which was beneficial as there were certain requirements of the project that were determined during the development phases. By using this method we were able to offer a high degree of flexibility.
Using Joomla also offered us flexibility. This open source platform is both scalable and extensible and is therefore ideally suited as the foundation for such a project. Regular meetings with the GWC team throughout and a phased delivery enabled us to reduce risk and deliver a powerful and adaptable solution.
We were keen to ensure that the administration of the GWC site was as simple and straightforward as possible. We spent significant time wire-framing and designing the various user interfaces. This has helped to reduce support and training time.
Account data is managed by a proprietary central system, which is used to organise delivery and collection of bins from properties. Using a SOAP interface we integrated with this application and in addition we created a queuing system that allowed updates to be stored and later sent to the central system in the event that the connection was unavailable.
Beyond the initial development and delivery, we have continued to support and develop this web platform. We continue to make adjustments to meet changing business requirements and to provide increased efficiency for administrators.
Hosting such a heavily used website is a challenge. Our web hosting infrastructure consists of a dedicated node in a 24/7 manned data centre in the UK, utilising the latest in virtualisation technology with full spectrum n+1 hardware, power, cooling and network redundancy. Our hosted servers are virtualised on a dedicated SAN with a failover SAN as a hot spare in case of hardware failure, further enhanced by daily image-based backups of all servers, allowing us to provide high availability, redundancy and reliability on a shared hosting platform.