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New waste collection contract to save East Northamptonshire Council £1.5 million

  • The ability to use spatial analysis in the mobilisation of the new service was invaluable. The efficiencies that have already been identified translates to real savings and there are more to be found.

    Charlotte Tompkins, Waste Manager

The reduction in the number of refuse collection vehicles at East Northamptonshire Council will contribute to significant savings and other benefits over the seven year duration of the new contract.

East Northamptonshire Council’s waste collection, recycling and street cleansing services went out to tender in 2010 and after a successful bid was made, a seven-year contract was awarded to Kier Environmental. The challenge was to reduce the number of frontline refuse collection vehicles from ten to six and devise new collection rounds.

Large scale mapping data from Ordnance Survey (OS MasterMap® Topography and Integrated Transport Network layers) together with East Northamptonshire’s Local Land and Property Gazetteer were used within RouteSmart, the route optimisation software from Integrated Skills. The system was used to calculate, optimise and balance both recycling and refuse collection routes for the six vehicles covering urban and rural locations throughout East Northamptonshire District. Additional fields were added to this data to include the new refuse and collection calendars for every domestic property, allowing customers to self serve via the council’s interactive map – searching the gazetteer layer for their property to display their collection calendar.

Under this new contract, 96% of domestic properties within the district were given two wheeled bins, one for their recyclables and the other for general waste, to be collected on alternate weeks. The new 240 litre recycling wheeled bin has replaced a 55 litre recycling box so residents are able to recycle more. The provision of a food waste caddy, collected weekly, means even more waste is diverted from landfill.

  • Cost saving over the contract period will be over £1 500 000.
  • Reduction of waste collection vehicles from 10 to 6.
  • Reduced CO2 emissions (by 114 tonnes).
  • Increase in recycling rate (to over 50%).
  • Reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill – between August 2011 and December 2011 this dropped by 4 100 tonnes compared to the same period in 2010 (a saving of £200 000 in landfill tax).

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