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  • My team love the fact that they can answer questions quickly. Customers can get quite annoyed if their bin isn’t collected. Having up to date and accurate information to hand helps keep things calm and enables us time to offer recycling advice where required.

    Jonathan Milbourn, Head of Customer Services

The ‘Waste Collector Project’ run by the London Borough of Harrow is looking to deliver £3.2 million of savings, mainly from increased levels of recycling and reduced landfill charges.

Harrow identified a requirement to change from a paper-based recording system to a new, more complete end-to-end information flow, allowing residents to have up to date information on bin collections. The main objectives were simple: to reduce the cost and environmental impact of waste collection.

Harrow embarked on the ‘Waste Collector Project’ and set out to revolutionise the way the council collects rubbish. The main datasets used were the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ Layer (ITN). The main technologies used were route optimisation, GPS, in-cab computers and a new real-time back-office system.

The new systems involved the following steps:

  • real-time updates of collected or missed bins (with reasons why) via in-cab devices; and
  • wireless connection to back-office systems and the Harrow Customer Contact Centre, which enables customer enquiries regarding missed bins to be answered within seconds, rather than a full working day under the old system.

At the same time, each collection route is continuously analysed and optimised using Ordnance Survey’s OS MasterMap ITN Layer as the core network dataset, Bartec’s Waste Collection software and RouteSmart, balancing work schedules, loads and providing more effective routes. As well as the financial benefits realised from this project; there are also a number of associated environmental benefits.

  • £3.2 million savings predicted over a ten-year period;
  • 18.8% reduction in waste being sent to landfill sites;
  • fuel reductions of 15%; associated reduction in CO2 emissions;
  • 40 kg reduction in paper recycling (from removal of old paper-based system); and
  • release of one waste vehicle to other duties.

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