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Waste management report calls for pipeline data

31/03/15

DCLG provides digital angle on encouraging joint procurement and more efficiency in waste collection services

Local government needs to develop a data framework for procuring goods used in waste management, according to a new report from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Collection of recycling binsOne of the recommendations in the report - Household Waste Collection: Procurement Savings Opportunities - is the development of "national pipeline data" that will support management and help to identify opportunities for joint procurement.

The thrust of the report is that there is not enough joint procurement of waste management services and this is undermining efforts to save money in the sector. It argues that if councils have a mechanism to see when others are preparing to procure bins and refuse collection trucks, it will make it easier for them to join up and achieve the savings from buying more under single contracts.

A pipeline could also help networks of councils gather market intelligence. The report says it could be hosted on the pipeline section of the government's Contracts Finder service.

Transparency and benchmarks

Among its other recommendations are that councils should make the financial data around contracts more open to the public, develop benchmarks for waste collection goods and vehicles, and consider harmonisation of the goods to make it easier to buy in larger volumes.

Overall, it suggests that councils can save 35% of their spending on bins and 10% on refuse trucks through joint procurement.

The news comes after the announcement of the Local Digital Campaign's Waste Services Standards project, which is aimed at developing a data standard, application program interface and prototypes to increase efficiency in the service. It is aimed at helping councils to work together more effectively, increase transparency around their performance and that of suppliers, and help them to move between suppliers more easily.

A group of councils are working together on the project with the support of the DCLG: Adur and Worthing, Brentwoood, Bristol, Calderdale, Chelmsford and Luton.

See also: Co-creating a standard approach to waste services.

Picture from DCLG, OpenGovernment Licence v3.0

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