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More efficient waste routes save council £200,000 in first year

Using mapping datasets from OS, and route optimisation software, South Cambridgeshire District Council saved £200,000 in 2014-15, with a further £400,000 forecast in 2015-16.

Following government cuts, South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) had to save £400,000 in waste collection services by 2015-16.

Using OS datasets and route optimisation software, it saved £200,000 in 2014-15, with a further £400,000 forecast in 2015-16 as a result of the package of service changes introduced.

What were the challenges?

  • Meeting reductions in government funding – (a total of £1.1m for the Council).
  • Cutting £400,000 from the waste management budget by 2015-2016.
  • Optimising waste management over an area of 901.63km².
  • Maintaining good services to 153,000 residents in 63,000 households.

What was the solution?

The route optimisation exercise was an evidence-based approach that made use of the huge amounts of data we have to support the wealth of personal expertise and insight gained by waste crews on the ground. We were able to deliver savings with minimum impact on our residents and without affecting our overall recycling performance.

Mike Hill, Director of Health and Environmental Services

SCDC used Webaspx WM Design Route Optimisation Software, bought jointly with local authority partners across Cambridgeshire, with external funding.

The software used a range of datasets including collection information for all properties across the district, Local Land and Property Gazetteer data and Ordnance Survey’s Integrated Transport Network (ITN) data.

Using this data and working to a number of service modelling calculations, the software was able to generate new optimised collection routes.

What were the outcomes?

Savings of £200,000 in 2014-15, with a further £400,000 forecast in 2015-16 as a result of the package of service changes introduced.

  • 180 new optimised waste collection rounds with just nine out of 63,000 households needing a change to collection days.
  • A reduction of 30 collection routes and three refuse collection vehicles.
  • Savings in 56 tonnes of CO2 in a full year through a reduction in fuel use.
  • SCDC can more effectively and efficiently plan for future service developments to deal with the high levels of growth projected in the area.
  • ITN has been key in identifying routes using algorithms within the software, including restrictions such as
    one-way streets, turn and time or weight restrictions.

The products used

Download this case study PDF – 226kB


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