Following changes to waste disposal points, St. Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council have used geographical information systems (GIS) to help reorganise bin collections, reduce carbon emissions and save £180 000.
The seven district and borough councils in Suffolk work together as members of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, which provides targets for sustainable waste management. Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have been working together since 2007 to improve customer service, optimise service delivery and reduce costs. Changes to the location and number of Suffolk County Council transfer stations necessitated a full round review; the tight timescale meant that amendments to the existing paper- based mapped rounds could not be achieved within the deadline.
It was decided to use Ordnance Survey’s mapping data in conjunction with Integrated Skills Limited’s RouteSmart route optimisation solution and ESRI® ArcGIS.
The two councils’ geography was divided into zones that could be collected in a single day using a set of vehicles (allowing each round to be changed or extended without changing the collection day).
Detailed round design followed, ensuring that each round took about the same time and could be completed in the working day. Paper maps of new rounds were produced so that crews could operate in unfamiliar areas.
All approved building developments were included in the design of the rounds to absorb future growth, which removed the need for an extra collection round.
Current work includes reviewing the street cleansing services using the OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ (ITN) Layer – Urban Paths theme (as cleansing is carried out on footpaths and open spaces as well as roads) leading to a Shared Rural Channel Mechanical Sweeper service at a cost saving to both Councils – one vehicle now used instead of two.
- Reduced annual fuel costs of £45 000;
- reduced overtime costs of £15 000;
- £120 000 saved by reducing the number of rounds by one;
- the ability to cost and manage future changes;
- improved staff morale – all operatives finish work at a similar time; and
- 24 000 fewer miles driven annually, saving 115 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.