20 february 2018

Innovating services for our local authority clients

We are always evaluating the services we provide to our clients. Find out how we recently helped a local authority client realise environmental and financial savings through innovative service changes.

We recognise that our clients are facing significant financial challenges; we regularly review service performance to ensure we deliver best value to meet these challenges through innovations that exceed your environmental and financial aims.

We operate an integrated waste collection and treatment contract with Shropshire Council. The 27-year deal sees Veolia crews performing over 10 million kerbside collections a year from over 138,000 properties and treating over 200,000 tonnes of municipal and commercial waste from across the county’s 1,300 square miles.

Changes to national composting standards meant that cardboard would no longer be accepted in Shropshire’s green waste collections and would need to be segregated. Shropshire’s recycling scheme at the time involved the separate collection of glass, paper, plastic bottles, and cans via kerbside boxes. Reintroducing a cardboard collection with the box scheme would mean residents would have no suitable container for cardboard.

We worked with the Council to design a new two-stream collection service which saw a mixed recycling box for metal, plastic and glass, and a new reusable plastic sack for paper and cardboard. This would ensure cardboard was removed from the kerbside green waste collection service, boosting recycling rates and making the service more efficient for residents, whilst ensuring compliance with composting guidance.
 

Innovation

Changes to national composting standards meant that cardboard would no longer be accepted in Shropshire’s green waste collections and would need to be segregated.



The new scheme was introduced in mid-2016 at no additional cost to the Council, with Veolia delivering an in-depth communications campaign to support residents with the changes to the scheme. This included:

  • All households receiving a letter from the Leader of Shropshire Council introducing the service
  • ​An individual leaflet delivered to all householders with the new mixed paper cardboard recycling bag​
  • A series of face to face roadshow events across the county supported by other media activities including interviews on BBC Radio Shropshire, press coverage and social media activity
  • The new scheme has now been operating for more than 12 months, with over 3,500,000 ‘Blue Bag’ collections successfully carried out.

The results of the new scheme so far include:

  • Recycling rates increased to 53%, an increase of over 2% on 2015/16 and exceeding the 52% contract target
  • Better visibility of the fibre stream through segregation - of the 9,300 tonnes of paper and card collected to date, no contamination rejections have been recorded
  • Additional 2,000 tonnes of dry recycling yields per annum, reducing the amount of residual waste sent for Energy Recovery, freeing up capacity for third-party inputs, delivering an increase in revenues for Shropshire Council

Recycling rates exceeding the 52% contract target

9,300 tonnes of paper & card collected to date with no recorded contamination

Additional 2,000 tonnes of dry recycling yields per annum,