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Set up waste collection details

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OpenCities Product Team

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The My Area module can be set to show waste collection services and schedules, based on an address which your community member will enter. Waste collection details can be shown in the My Area section of your site or on their own page.

an example of waste collection details on a page

To show this information, first, you need to add address data to OpenCities. For a video demonstration, watch our video tutorial on setting up waste collection details. 

Before you begin, consult with your GIS team to ensure that they can create a spreadsheet with the address and waste collection data in this specific format.

We've got a lot to cover, so use this table of contents to jump to what you need:

If you're setting up your data for the first time, follow these steps:
1. Add waste services and schedules
2. Add addresses using a spreadsheet

Add or change waste services and schedules

There are two ways to do this: in OpenCities or using the API.

In OpenCities

  1. From the main menu, go to More > My Area > Waste services.
  2. Choose an existing service to update it, or click Add New Service.
  3. Fill out the details of your service.
    If you want the My Area service to link to a page that shows more information, fill out the Link fields.
  4. Save when you’re done.
    You’ll see that a Schedules tab appears for your service. If you're importing your schedule data in your spreadsheet, this is where the schedules will be created in the import process.
    the details and schedules tabs in the waste services
  5. When you're done, click Save Save.

When creating a new service, there is a field for adding a CSS class name. This is where you can use CSS to add an icon to your service. We have provided a default set of bin icons to represent common waste collection services. Use the following classes to display the bins icons for each service:

Service CSS class name Icon
General waste general-waste general waste bin icon
Recycling recycling recycling bin icon
Green waste green-waste green waste bin icon

Placeholder icon

This icon will be used whenever you leave the CSS class name field blank. It can also be used as a placeholder icon for new or one-off services.

  placeholder bin icon

Using the API

If you’re an OC Developer, you can use the API to add or change waste services. Read more about using the API

Add or change addresses using a spreadsheet

One way to bulk-add or change addresses and schedules for a collection service is by using the Sample MyArea Import Spreadsheet- with waste collection details.xls spreadsheet. You can find this spreadsheet in the Resources section at the end of the topic.

You can also use the Export to Excel feature to download a .xls file of the current addresses in your admin. With this file, you can make any edits to the addresses and schedules before you Import the same file into your system. Please note that the export file may take a few minutes to download if you have many addresses.

What to include in your spreadsheet

The spreadsheet should be a single worksheet document with a header row consisting of the fields in the table below. If a field includes {Service Name}, replace {Service Name} with the name of a service you already created.

You don’t need to fill in every column for every address. Some fields won’t be relevant.

We've included some example addresses in the Waste Services Addresses.xlsx spreadsheet. Replace these examples with your own data.





Optional, but highly recommended

A unique identifier for the address, which is used to match the address to your internal business system. This has to be unique, but can be a string using any combination of letters and numbers up to 50 characters long.

Don’t include this column in your spreadsheet if you’re not using it, otherwise, everything will be given an ID of 0 and the import will be rejected.



The commonly-used unofficial name of the address



The name of the building or house



The numerical component of the address, including the unit number



The name of the street, road, or thorofare



The nearest town or major postal center (used mainly in country or rural areas)



An identifiable region or community of interest within a town or city. Typically not part of a postal address



The suburb, town, or village component of the address


Required if you are presenting elected officials on your My Area page

The name of the ward or the area that an individual elected member is responsible for



Commonly used for the state, territory, or province the address resides within



Commonly the county or local-government area the address resides within



The two-letter country code for this address (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 format)



The postal or zip code for this address


Optional, but recommended to reduce API calls to Google Maps

The latitude component for the location in decimal degrees (e.g. -29.3363)


Optional, but recommended to reduce API calls to Google Maps

The longitude component for the location in decimal degrees (e.g. 121.4909)



How this address should be displayed in My Area address search results. This is generated automatically if not supplied by combining StreetNumber, Route, Locality, and PostalCode.



Any other keywords or information that someone may type into the search box when looking for this address

{Service Name}: Start Date

Only include this column in your spreadsheet if you’re adding a new schedule. If you’ve already added a schedule in OpenCities, use the Schedule field.

Name of the service, followed by a colon, followed by words Start Date (for example, General Waste: Start Date). Used as the date from which to calculate the next collection dates.

For US sites, use the mm/dd/yyyy format for your spreadsheet.

For Australian or New Zealand sites, use the dd/mm/yyyy format for your spreadsheet.

{Service Name}: Frequency

Only include this column in your spreadsheet if you’re adding a new schedule. If you’ve already added a schedule in OpenCities, use the Schedule field.

Name of the service, followed by a colon, followed by the word Frequency (for example, General Waste: Frequency). How often the service occurs in days (for example, 7 for a service that occurs every 7 days).

If this column is omitted or the value is set to 0, the service is treated as a one-off which only occurs once on the Start Date (handy for curbside bulk collections).


Only include this column in your spreadsheet if you’ve already added a schedule in OpenCities. If you want to add a new schedule, use the {Service Name}: Start Date and {Service Name}: Frequency fields.

The API alias of the waste collection schedule. You can add as many Schedule columns as you like.

Upload the spreadsheet

  1. From the main menu, go to More > My Area > Import.
  2. Upload your completed spreadsheet using the Upload address data file button. If you upload the wrong file, you can replace it using the Replace Existing File button link.
  3. Select Validate, this will scan the spreadsheet and display any errors.
  4. If you are replacing any previously uploaded addresses, select Delete all addresses before importing.
  5. If you would like to delete any schedules that are unused by the addresses in the system, select Delete all unused schedules after importing.
  6. Select Import.
  7. Once the file has been imported, select OK.

Here are some basic tips to ensure your spreadsheet can be uploaded correctly:

  • Ensure that no cells in the spreadsheet have any shading or highlights
  • Ensure the headings of your services are exactly the same in both the spreadsheet and the site admin (specifically in More > My Area > Waste Services) including upper- and lower-case letters and any spacing.
  • Ensure there are no cells with a value after the final data column on the spreadsheet. 

Add or change addresses in OpenCities

  1. From the main menu, go to More > My Area > Addresses.
  2. Choose an existing address to update it, or click Add New Address.
  3. Fill out its details.
  4. Save when you’re done.
    You’ll see that a Services tab appears for your address.
  5. Go to the Services tab to add or remove services.
    the services tab in the address fields
  6. To add a service, use the dropdown menus to choose a service, then a schedule. Click Add Service.
  7. To remove an existing service, use the cog menu next to it and select Remove 
  8. Save when you're done.

If you need to change some details for an address, you can also do so by following the above instructions. However, if you need to change the details of, say, more than 15 addresses, we suggest uploading a new spreadsheet to reduce the number of manual edits.

Show waste collection schedules on their own page

You can show your city or council's waste collection schedules on their own page, as well as on the My Area page of your site. But before you can do so, you must ensure that the address and waste collection details have been uploaded by following the steps above.

Once you've uploaded your waste collection spreadsheet:

  1. Right-click in your site tree where you want to create the page.
  2. Select Create Page, and choose OC Module Interface as the content type.
  3. Select OC Waste Collection Dates from the Template Name dropdown menu
    the template name menu on a module interface with the waste collection template
  4. Fill in the page fields and add any WYSIWYG Content to your page.
  5. Publish your page.

Need some more assistance? Check out our My Area video series for detailed instructions on setting up your waste collection details


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