Our aim in this piece of work is:
to surface facts of interest (maximums, minimums, trends, etc.) about waste in an area, to non-experts.
Towards that aim, we have built a prototype regional dashboard which is directly powered by our ‘easier datasets’ about waste.
The prototype is a webapp and it can be accessed here.
Even this early prototype manages to surface some curiosities  …
Inverclyde is doing well.
In the latest data (2019), it generates the fewest tonnes of household waste (per citizen) of any of the council areas. And its same 1st position for CO2e indicates the close relation between the amount of waste generated and its carbon impact.
…But why is Inverclyde doing so well?
Highland isn’t doing so well.
In the latest data (2019), it generates the most (except for Argyll & Bute) tonnes of household waste (per citizen) of any of the council areas. And it has the worst trend for percentage recycled.
…Why is Highland’s percentage recycled been getting worse since 2014?
Fife has the best trend for household waste generation. That said, it still has been generating an above the average amount of waste per citizen.
The graphs for Fife business waste show that there was an acute reduction in combustion wastes in 2016.
We investigated this anomaly before and discovered that it was caused by the closure of Fife’s coal fired power station (Longannet) on 24th March 2016.
In the latest two years of data (2018 & 2019), Angus has noticibly reduced the amount of household waste that it landfills.
During the same period, Angus has increased the amount household waste that it processes as ‘other diversion’.
…What underlies that difference in Angus’ waste processing?
This prototype is built as a ‘static’ website with all content-dynamics occurring in the browser. This makes it simple and cheap to host, but results in heavier, more complex web pages.
- The clickable map is implemented on Leaflet – with Open Street Map map tiles.
- The charts are constructed using Vega-lite.
- The content-dynamics are coded in ClojureScript – with Hiccup for HTML, and Reagent for events.
- The website is hosted on GitHub.
Ideas for evolving this prototype
- Provide more qualitative information. This version is quite quantitative because, well, that is nature of the datasets that currently underlay it. So there’s a danger of straying into the “managment by KPI” approach when we should be supporting the “management by understanding” approach.
- Include more localised information, e.g. about an area’s re-use shops, or bin collection statistics.
- Support deeper dives, e.g. so that users can click on a CO2e trend to navigate to a choropleth map for CO2e.
- Allow users to download any of the displayed charts as (CSV) data or as (PNG) images.
- Enhance the support of comparisons by allowing users to multi-select regions and overlay their charts.
- Allow users to choose from a menu, what chart/data tiles to place on the page.
- Provide a what-if? tool. “What if every region reduced by 10% their landfilling of waste material xyz?” – where the tool has a good enough waste model to enable it to compute what-if? outcomes.