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A free online booking and appointment app launched by Cardiff-based digital company Zipporah is helping the Vale of Glamorgan Council reopen its recycling centres and reduce waiting times for the public.

First published:
3 June 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced last month that recycling centres could reopen as part of the easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

More than 3,000 bookings were made on the first day when they reopened in the Vale of Glamorgan – 10 bookings were made every minute.

The Zipporah app called 'Generic', is helping people in the county to book an appointment. This is proving vital in helping recycling centres manage attendance, maintain physical distancing and reduce queuing.

Residents are also provided with clear instructions and procedures to follow before arriving and during their visit to a recycling centre.

The app has also been taken up by local authorities outside Wales. Zipporah is providing it to all free of charge.

Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister, Ken Skates said:

This is a fantastic example of a Welsh company taking action in a time of crisis to introduce a new product for the benefit of public services and local residents.

Indications show the Generic app has already proved a success at recycling centres in the Vale of Glamorgan. This is absolutely essential in ensuring physical distancing rules are maintained and people can come and go with confidence and ease.

I’d like to thank Zipporah and the Vale of Glamorgan council for working collaboratively to bring a successful solution into the public domain.

Zipporah’s technical director Scott Burton said:

Our appointment solution has already been incredibly effective especially in facilitating the organised re-opening of recycling centres – not only in Wales but also across England and Scotland.

As well as keeping recycling centres running smoothly, Zipporah technology has been crucial in allowing social distancing to be maintained – upholding the safety of both the public and staff alike.

We’re delighted with how successful the system has been in benefiting those using during this challenging period.

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said:

We have had to adapt our ways of working, since the coronavirus outbreak and it is fantastic to see local authorities and businesses coming together and using innovative technology to ensure key public services are maintained.

Ensuring the safety of staff and the public at recycling centres is vital. The Generic app has not only helped to achieve this but has allowed recycling centres to run smoothly while adopting social distancing. I hope we’ll see more of this collaborative working in the future as we respond to the pandemic.

Peter King, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services and Transport, said:

We’re delighted with how smoothly our Household waste Recycling Centres have been able to reopen after a period of closure.

As anticipated demand for these facilities was extremely high, but thanks to proper planning and the hard work of Council staff many potential problems relating to queuing and waiting times have been avoided.

The implementation of a booking system was crucial to the reopening operation and we’d like to thank Zipporah for their support. They’ve provided us with reliable and robust software that has stood up well to significant pressure.

Vale of Glamorgan resident Stuart Evans said:

After a couple of months of having a full garden of shelving units, carpet, underlay etc, I was so grateful to be able to get to the recycling centre in Barry.

Time slots worked perfectly and it felt so ‘normal’. Staff were very organised and helpful. Great work Vale of Glamorgan Council.