A new report published on 29th March 2015 has claimed that councils could make sensible savings by joining forces to buy refuse trucks and wheelie bins, for rubbish collection – to the tune of £70m.
Ministers have made clear that 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 £70 million could be saved by town halls every year, simply through better procurement and more standardised processes.
It said 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.
The report suggested potential savings of up to 10% on refuse trucks and more than a third (35%) on bins could be achieved through clearer specification and procuring in larger volumes with other councils.
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 also 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 will increase transparency and give councils greater flexibility to switch suppliers more easily at lower cost.
The report follows increasing levels of inter-council cooperation brought about by the Localism Act and the removal of the regional planning tier. In its place, a ‘duty to cooperate’ was introduced and it looks like the Government are keen to push this even further.