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New integrated waste and recycling contract not only saves South Staffordshire Council money but increases customer satisfaction

  • The maps generated as part of the distribution process ensured that 99.7% of blue bins were delivered successfully within the allotted time. This has played a key part in service satisfaction levels.

    Jackie Smith, Director of Environmental and Customer Service

The challenge

In preparation for the new integrated waste and recycling contract commencing 1 April 2013, the Waste Management team at South Staffordshire Council were required to implement major service changes. Initially it was necessary to distribute, across a very rural district, a blue-wheeled bin to 42,500 properties within a four-week period. The second phase of the project saw the introduction of 150 new waste and recycling collection routes, designed to maximise collection efficiencies.

The solution

The use of route optimisation and geographical information systems (GIS) has enabled the council to devise and deliver appropriate waste management solutions that have improved the customer experience and delivered substantial efficiencies. Waste Management will continue to utilise GIS to test objectively future scenarios and manage professionally any subsequent service changes.

Daniel Roberts, Waste Management Officer

To deliver the new integrated waste and recycling contract, the council used a number of Ordnance Survey products, including OS VectorMap District and OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer to record and display a range of data. Commencing with the distribution of 42,500 wheeled bins, Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) data was cleansed to ensure that only properties that were to receive a bin were identified. The dataset was then uploaded to the council’s online collection calendar system, enabling its Customer Services team to deal with the thousands of queries regarding the distribution by retrieving Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN)-centric data instantly.

This is a great example of how the integration of internally held Waste Management data and Ordnance Survey data, can be harmonised using GIS to generate clear and credible efficiencies.

Andrew Preston, GIS Development Officer

Once the roll-out of blue bins had been completed, the dataset was modified in preparation for integration with RouteSmart. The route optimisation software system enabled the council to objectively determine the resources required to deliver the waste and recycling service. A great deal of spatial data was incorporated, including collection times (obtained by vehicle tracking data), locations of disposal sites, legal driving breaks and ITN data specific for a refuse collection vehicle; that is the presence of low bridges, single-sided collections only and time-restricted windows. Working closely with its contractor, the council has now developed 150 individual routes for the collection of non-recyclable, recyclable and organic waste. RouteSmart has also provided the evidence that the number of vehicles needed to collect organic waste from the kerbside can be reduced from four to three during periods of low growth. The final outputs ensure that crew completion times are more consistent across the collection week and that all resources are used to maximum efficiency.

The benefits

  • The improved route efficiencies have been instrumental in delivering contract savings of £380,000 per annum for at least the next seven years.
  • The use of Ordnance Survey data has enabled myriad scenarios to be tested and rectified; for example, determining where properties must wait an unacceptable time between collections, so additional collections have been introduced to minimise disruption.
  • The new routes will reduce unnecessary travel with clear environmental and economic benefits.

The products used

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