According to a new report potential savings of up to 10% can be made on refuse trucks and more than a third (35%) on waste containers could be achieved through clearer specification and procuring in larger volumes with other councils.
It says town halls no longer have the luxury of procuring waste management equipment in isolation and therefore “must work together” to deliver a better deal for local taxpayers.
The report has found £70m could be saved every year simply through better procurement and more “standardised processes”.
Eric Pickles, DCLG – “Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “For too long rubbish town hall procurement policies have wasted taxpayer’s money as councils have worked in isolation when they should have been working together to deliver a better deal for local taxpayers”
According to the report, every wheeled bin in England costs an estimated £5 more than it does in Germany, therefore a council splashing out on 50,000 branded bins could be wasting £250,000 of local taxpayer’s money.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “For too long rubbish town hall procurement policies have wasted taxpayer’s money as councils have worked in isolation when they should have been working together to deliver a better deal for local taxpayers.
“People want and deserve a comprehensive bin collection service in return for their Council Tax, which is why this government is working with town halls to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish and recycling collections.
“Instead of cutting frontline services or introducing stealth taxes such as charges for the collection of garden rubbish, councils should be making the sensible savings such as more joint working, better procurement and new technology.”
The government is funding a project whereby a group of councils will work together to explore how they can standardise their approach to digital waste services. The project is aimed at increasing transparency and giving councils greater flexibility to switch suppliers more easily at lower cost.
The government has also introduced a range of key public sector procurement reforms for local government. The DCLG says this cannot deliver better local procurement itself but has created the “right conditions” by eliminating unnecessary red tape and removing barriers to local innovation.
Steve Lee, CIWM – “A recent report by CIWM and Ricardo-AEA found that many local authorities are already being very proactive in deploying a range of efficiency saving measures, one of which is joint procurement of infrastructure and services”
Steve Lee, CIWM chief executive said on the report: “A recent report by CIWM and Ricardo-AEA found that many local authorities are already being very proactive in deploying a range of efficiency saving measures, one of which is joint procurement of infrastructure and services.
“In considering the range of future efficiency options available, this report from DCLG is useful in reinforcing the potential benefits of joint approaches to the procurement of containers and vehicles, and raises an important discussion point about the role of greater standardisation in the future.
“However, it is also important to acknowledge the effect of ongoing local government funding cuts on councils’ ability to continue to innovate. Continued reductions in budgets and staff resources could impact on councils’ ability to plan and deliver joint procurement exercises.
“Support from central government and relevant delivery bodies such as WRAP and Zero Waste Scotland will be essential to deliver the pipeline planning, common specifications, and joint working frameworks that will be needed.”