ODM, Carbon Co-op and Your Dsposal get ODI Stimulus to lead environmental change from Greater Manchester

Open Data Manchester is working with two local environmental organisations on open data research and development (R&D) projects after a boost from the Open Data Institute (ODI) Stimulus Fund.

With Manchester’s Carbon Co-op, a cooperative that works on projects to help people radically reduce their carbon emissions, ODM will develop a new model for sharing energy data among its membership of community-owned energy providers.

ODM has been investigating the use of cooperative structures like this to help people better look after personal and community data since 2014.

Julian Tait, Open Data Manchester’s CEO, explains: “We believe in the democratic power of cooperatives and we hope that, by developing a model for organisations in this sector to share their data, this will show that a collaborative model for environmental transformation works.”

We’re also supporting Manchester’s waste data experts Dsposal on the next part of their mission to make the rubbish industry more transparent and accountable, so that everyone can make more sustainable decisions when it comes to recycling or throwing things away.

Dsposal’s new social enterprise, Your Dsposal, has been designed to deal with the huge increase in public demand for information about local waste facilities, not least because of people having ‘lock down clear outs’.

Your Dsposal will collaborate on a new data standard for local authorities to use when they share information about nearby waste sites, so that things like what facilities are available, opening times or special instructions, such as those around COVID-19, are accurate and accessible.

Director Sophie Walker explains: “There is no standard way that councils share information with people about their local waste and recycling facilities. By developing data infrastructure that does this, we can make it easier for people to find accurate information when they need it, and by making it open, we hope to see more innovation and more collaboration, meaning even better services in the future.”

Their bid was supported by Ecosurety, Resource Futures and Hull City Council.

This ODI fund is part of a research and development programme, specifically the Innovate UK funded R&D programme that focuses on trustworthy and ethical sharing of data among, by and for people and organisations, so we can better protect the environment.

Leigh Dodds, director of delivery at the ODI, added: “These projects show the potential that sharing data has to solve challenges in creating a net-zero economy in the UK and globally. It’s great to see people coming together to solve challenges that affect us all.”

Both research projects will conclude in January next year.