Data Verification Protocol

Data Verification Protocol Icon

MMP DATA VERIFICATION PROTOCOL

The following instructions summarize the data verification process that all GDMP Program Managers are expected to undertake when reviewing program assessment survey responses submitted by MMP members in their respective jurisdictions.

Program Managers

Each GDMP Customer will assign up to two (2) Program Manager Accounts (referred to as “Authorized Users” in Customer Terms of Service). GDMP Program Manager Accounts are configured to access Municipal Measurement Program (MMP) data for all members in the Customer’s jurisdiction. The primary role of GDMP Program Manager’s is to review data submitted via the MMP’s program assessment surveys to identify inaccurate data or response discrepancies.

If you haven’t received an invitation to access your Program Manager Account, please contact mmp@re-trac.com


The Importance Of Data Verification

The following section describes the data verification process that GDMP Program Managers are expected to undertake when reviewing MMP members' program assessment survey response data.

The Basics

  • The Recycling Partnership will provide basic data verification training to all new GDMP Program Managers.
  • The Recycling Partnership will also perform a final review of all MMP program assessment survey responses to confirm data quality and provide feedback to GDMP Program Managers as necessary.
  • The general flow of the verification process is as follows:
  • An MMP member marks all relevant surveys as “complete”.
    • GDMP Program Manager is notified, by automated email, that the MMP member’s surveys have been marked as "complete".
    • GDMP Program Manager logs into Re-TRAC Connect™ to review the completed survey responses.
    • GDMP Program Manager follows the steps outlined in the Data Verification Protocol (see below).
    • Once the GDMP Program Manager has completed a review of the MMP member’s survey response, including contact with the municipality to address any data accuracy issues, the GDMP Program Manager will:
      • Provide the full name of the GDMP Program Manager who reviewed the survey response.
      • Specify how changes to the survey response were confirmed (as applicable).
      • Document important review notes including changes made to the survey response and the steps taken to confirm the accuracy of the data.
      • Specify the date that the survey response was reviewed.
      • Identify if the survey response is ready for The Recycling Partnership to perform final data verification procedures.
        • The Recycling Partnership performs a final review of the MMP member’s completed survey response, reviews the GDMP Program Manager’s review notes, and addresses any outstanding questions with the GDMP Program Manager.
        • The Recycling Partnership marks the MMP member’s survey responses as “Verified”.

Getting Prepared

  • Bookmark and become familiar with using: U.S. Census American Fact Finder
    • This tool is helpful when checking numerical responses such as household and population data.
    • It’s also useful when making calculations to catch program data anomalies that need to be addressed.
  • Problematic data may require direct contact with MMP member to verify data accuracy and/or make corrections.  Before opening a program assessment survey response for review, it’s good practice to establish a method to track all problematic data points to be addressed with the municipality in one summary contact.

Helpful Tips

  • Members cannot mark program assessment survey responses as “complete” until data has been entered into all required fields. Therefore, all essential program information will be available when GDMP Program Managers review survey responses marked as “complete”.
  • Verification should focus on appropriateness of the numerical data, both in raw form (i.e. entered directly into a field) but also in calculated form (e.g. pounds per household metric).
  • Conduct baseline checks against numerical data:
    • Check population and household counts against U.S. Census American Fact Finder records for the community.
    • Use most recent estimates (not 2010 official numbers).
    • Do check for both single-family and multi-family units according to how the MMP member defines each one.
    • If household counts are outside of 20% difference with the Census #, plan to contact the MMP member to discuss.

ABOUT YOUR MUNICIPALITY SURVEY

Every municipality will fill out the About Your Municipality survey. It collects general demographic information about the municipalities in your jurisdiction and high-level information about the types of waste and recycling programs available to residents in your jurisdiction.

What is the population of your municipality?

Reference the U.S. Census American Fact Finder to check for the correct number.

If number entered by the MMP member seems too high or too low (i.e. outside of 20% difference with Census #), make a note to contact the MMP member to ask if they have more up-to-date information. Specifically ask about the source of the data and ask them to describe any factors that would cause such a large difference when compared to the Census.

  • If the MMP member provides reasonable justification for originally submitted number, make a note in the Review Notes. You can consider this data approved for verification by The Recycling Partnership.
  • If the number needs to be changed, enter it directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.

Curbside & Drop-off Programs

If the MMP member selects "No" for both of the following questions, flag to investigate further (though some municipalities may not be responsible for providing these services):

"Does your municipality provide curbside collection services to residents?"
"Does your municipality operate drop-off location(s) where residents can dispose of materials?"

Curbside-and-Drop-Off-Programs

DO NOT CHANGE ANSWERS TO OPINION-BASED QUESTIONS

The following two questions are classified as "opinion-based" and therefore, GDMP Program Managers are not permitted to makes changes to the answers MMP members provide for these questions:

 

What are the biggest waste management and recycling challenges for your municipality? (select all that apply)

Opinion-1

What other waste management and recycling challenges does your municipality contend with?
This question is only displayed when the MMP member selects "Other" in the question described above.

Opinion-2

RESIDENTIAL CURBSIDE PROGRAM ASSESSMENT SURVEY

This survey is separated into six sections designed to summarize waste & recycling programs in the municipality.

The first page gathers basic information about curbside collection programs, page 2 collects information about MSW curbside collection, page 3 is for single-family curbside recycling collection, page 4 is about multi-family recycling collection, page 5 is for organics collection, and finally page 6 collects information about the person completing the survey.

HELPFUL TIP:
Where "Other" is available as an answer option for any given question, check the text provided under “Please Specify”. If the “Please Specify” field has information that is already provided in the answer choices, contact the MMP member to get the correct information and directly change the answer in the completed survey response.

Example: An MMP member checks “Other” for types of containers used in curbside recycling program but then notes under “Please Specify” that they use 65 gallon roll carts when that cart size is covered by the "60-65 gallon roll cart" option.

Other-please-specify

PAGE 1: ABOUT CURBSIDE COLLECTION PROGRAMS IN YOUR MUNICIPALITY

How many total households fall under the unit types checked above in your municipality?

If the number of households seems too small or too large (i.e. outside of 20% difference with Census #), make a note to contact the MMP member to ask if they have better data. Specifically ask about the source of the data and ask them to describe any factors that would cause such a large difference when compared to the Census.

  • If the MMP member provides reasonable justification for originally submitted number, make a note in the Review Notes. You can consider this data approved for verification by The Recycling Partnership.
  • If the number needs to be changed, enter it directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.
Number-of-Households

PAGE 2: ABOUT YOUR RESIDENTIAL CURBSIDE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE (MSW) COLLECTION PROGRAM

DO NOT CHANGE ANSWERS TO OPINION-BASED QUESTIONS

The following question is classified as "opinion-based" and therefore, GDMP Program Managers are not permitted to makes changes to the answers MMP members provide for this question:

 

Is there any additional information you'd like to share about the way Municipal Solid Waste collection is provided in your municipality? Tell us your story! Please provide as much detail as possible.

Opinion-3

PAGE 3: ABOUT YOUR RESIDENTIAL SINGLE-FAMILY CURBSIDE RECYCLING PROGRAM

What type of curbside recycling collection do you offer residents?

If the MMP member checks more than one option, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation and clarification.

Type-of-Curbside-Recycling

Who provides residential curbside recycling services in your municipality?

If the MMP member checks more than one option, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation and clarification.

Who-provides-collection-service

What types of containers are used for your curbside recycling program?

If the MMP member checks more than one option, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation and clarification.

Types-of-Curbside-Containers

Are the following types of PAPER accepted in your municipality's curbside recycling collection program?

If the MMP member selects "Other paper", a text box will be displayed with the following question: What other types of PAPER are accepted in your municipality's single-family curbside collection program? Are there any exceptions? Tell us your story!

Check to make sure the answers provide in this text box is already listed as a paper type above.

  • If the option is available in the list of paper types, click "YES" for that paper type and delete any reference to it in the text box.
  • If answer appears to be problematic, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation or clarification. Once the correct paper types have been confirmed, enter them directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.

Example: An MMP member selects "YES" for "Books" and "Mail", but also checks "YES" for “Other paper” and writes "We also accept junk mail and text books". These options should be covered by the "Books" and "Mail" so the comment should be deleted.

Paper-Types
Other-Paper

Are the following types of GLASS accepted in your municipality's curbside recycling collection program?

If the MMP member selects "Other glass", a text box will be displayed with the following question: What other types of GLASS are accepted in your municipality's single-family curbside collection program? Are there any exceptions? Tell us your story!

Check to make sure the answers provide in this text box is already listed as a glass type above.

  • If the option is available in the list of glass types, click "YES" for that glass type and delete any reference to it in the text box.
  • If answer appears to be problematic, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation or clarification. Once the correct glass types have been confirmed, enter them directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.

Example: An MMP member selects "YES" for “Other glass” and writes "We accept beer and wine bottles". These options would be covered by the "Glass containers" so the comment should be deleted and "YES" should be selected for "Glass Containers".

Accepted-Glass

Are the following types of METAL accepted in your municipality's curbside recycling collection program?

If the MMP member selects "Other metal", a text box will be displayed with the following question: What other types of METAL are accepted in your municipality's single-family curbside collection program? Are there any exceptions? Tell us your story!

Check to make sure the answers provide in this text box is already listed as a metal type above.

  • If the option is available in the list of metal types, click "YES" for that metal type and delete any reference to it in the text box.
  • If answer appears to be problematic, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation or clarification. Once the correct metal types have been confirmed, enter them directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.

Example: An MMP member selects "YES" for “Other metal” and writes "We accept pop and beer cans". These options would be covered by the "Aluminum cans" so the comment should be deleted and "YES" should be selected for "Aluminum cans".

Metals-Accepted

Can you provide 2018 tonnage information specifically for your municipality's single-family curbside recycling program?

Follow this protocol if the MMP member selects one of the following two responses:

"Yes, I can provide total annual tons"

"Yes, I can provide annual tons broken out by material category (paper, plastic, glass, metal)"

Calculate the Lbs/Household metric to confirm that the total curbside recycling tonnage number is realistic:

ANNUAL CURBSIDE RECYCLING TONNAGE x 2,000 (to convert to lbs)

divided by

TOTAL NUMBER OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSEHOLDS SERVED BY RESIDENTIAL CURBSIDE RECYCLING PROGRAM

If the Lbs/Household number exceeds 650, or is under 150, make a note to contact the MMP member to confirm and clarify these numbers. As a note: the Lbs/Household field is hidden from municipalities; only GDMP Program Manager can see it.

Issues to explore the MMP member:

  1. Is the number of single-family households served by the curbside recycling program accurate?
  2. Is the annual single-family curbside recycling tonnage number accurate?
    • Is the number missing any tonnage that should be attributable to the program
    • Does the number include tonnage that should not be counted for the single-family curbside program (e.g. drop-off or multi-family collection tonnage)?
  • If the MMP member provides reasonable justification for household and tonnage numbers, make a note in the Review Notes. You can consider this data approved for verification by The Recycling Partnership.
  • If the household or tonnage numbers need to be changed, enter the correction directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.

DO NOT CHANGE ANSWERS TO OPINION-BASED QUESTIONS

The following question is classified as "opinion-based" and therefore, GDMP Program Managers are not permitted to makes changes to the answers MMP members provide for this question:

 

Is there any additional information you'd like to share about the way single-family curbside recycling collection is provided in your municipality? Tell us your story! Please provide as much detail as possible.

Additional-information-about-single-family-curbside-recycling

PAGE 4: ABOUT YOUR RESIDENTIAL MULTI-FAMILY RECYCLING PROGRAM

Please specify how many multi-family households are served by municipal recycling collection services?

This question is only displayed when the MMP member selects "Other" to "How many multi-family households are served by municipal recycling collection services?"

It's not uncommon for MMP members to enter the number of multi-family complexes (buildings) served but they should be entering the number of multi-family households served (i.e. one complex may have six units).

If the number of multi-family households served is abnormally low (i.e. single or double digits), make a note to contact the MMP member for clarification.

  • If the MMP member provides reasonable justification for originally submitted number, make a note in the Review Notes. You can consider this data approved for verification by The Recycling Partnership.
  • If the number needs to be changed (e.g. MMP member entered the number of multi-family complexes instead of households), enter the correct number directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.
  • If the MMP member cannot provide an exact or accounted number, ask them to provide their best estimate. Enter the estimated number directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes; especially the fact that this number is an estimate!
Number-of-Multi-Family-Households-Served

Can you provide 2018 tonnage information specifically for your municipality's multi-family recycling program?

If the MMP member selects "No, multi-family tonnage data is included in the single-family curbside recycling total", make a note to contact the MMP member check to see if they can estimate the percentage of single-family vs. multi-family recycling tonnage.

  • If the MMP member can create a reasonable estimate, select "Yes, I can provide total annual tons", enter the estimated number directly into the survey response, and click "Save". Remember to make the necessary adjustment to the number entered for "Can you provide 2018 tonnage information specifically for your municipality's single-family curbside recycling program?" on page 3 of this survey. It's also important to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes; especially the fact that these numbers are estimates!
  • If the MMP member cannot provide a reasonable estimate, make a note in the Review Notes. You can consider this data approved for verification by The Recycling Partnership.
Multi-family-tonnage

DO NOT CHANGE ANSWERS TO OPINION-BASED QUESTIONS

The following question is classified as "opinion-based" and therefore, GDMP Program Managers are not permitted to makes changes to the answers MMP members provide for this question:

 

Is there any additional information you'd like to share about the way multi-family recycling collection is provided in your municipality? Tell us your story! Please provide as much detail as possible.

Additional-information-about-multi-family-curbside-recycling

PAGE 5: ABOUT YOUR RESIDENTIAL ORGANICS COLLECTION PROGRAM

Are the following types of material types accepted in your municipality's curbside organics collection program?

If the MMP member selects "Other organics", a text box will be displayed with the following question: What other types of ORGANICS are accepted in your municipality's curbside organics collection program? Are there any exceptions? Tell us your story!

Check to make sure the answers provide in this text box is already listed as a organics type above.

  • If the option is available in the list of organics types, click "YES" for that organics type and delete any reference to it in the text box.
  • If answer appears to be problematic, make a note to contact the MMP member for confirmation or clarification. Once the correct organics types have been confirmed, enter them directly into the survey response and click "Save". Remember to document the conversation and outcomes in the Review Notes.

Example: An MMP member selects "YES" for “Other organics” and writes "We accept stumps, grass, and leaves". These options would be covered by the "Tree debris/Wood waste" and "Yard trimmings" so the comment should be deleted and "YES" should be selected for the above mentioned organics types.

Other-Organics-Accepted

DO NOT CHANGE ANSWERS TO OPINION-BASED QUESTIONS

The following question is classified as "opinion-based" and therefore, GDMP Program Managers are not permitted to makes changes to the answers MMP members provide for this question:

 

Is there any additional information you'd like to share about the way organics collection is provided in your municipality? Tell us your story! Please provide as much detail as possible.

Additional-information-about-the-way-organics-are-collected

RESIDENTIAL DROP-OFF PROGRAM ASSESSMENT SURVEY

This survey is designed to collect information about the material drop-off services each municipality offers to residents. Only information about drop-off locations managed directly by the MMP member should be included. MMP members should not include information about drop-off locations managed by a 3rd party.

DO NOT CHANGE ANSWERS TO OPINION-BASED QUESTIONS

The following questions are classified as "opinion-based" and therefore, GDMP Program Managers are not permitted to makes changes to the answers MMP members provide for these questions:

 

Would you be interested in learning about how you can create free listings for your municipal drop-off locations (and more!) on RecycleSearch.com?

RecycleSearch-Listings

Would you be interested in learning about how you can create free listings for your municipal drop-off locations (and more!) on RecycleSearch.com?

Additional-information-about-drop-off-programs

THANK YOU!

Your assistance/participation in the verification process is much appreciated.

The work you do is vital to ensuring the MMP is collecting good quality data! Questions about data verification can be directed to Scott Mouw at The Recycling Partnership (smouw@recyclingpartnership.org )