Other ways we are making savings
The current bin collection contracts were set up over 14 years ago before the council was formed from the merger of Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire District Councils.
As a result, we inherited different waste collection contracts for north and south areas. The review of bin collections could enable us to harmonise the service as much as possible: this could reduce the differences between the two parts of Central Bedfordshire and help improve efficiency. We can also work across the whole area rather than treating the north and south separately which could mean we need less collection vehicles. We will also look for further efficiencies in the new contract.
We will use new technology to design the most efficient rounds and routes for collection vehicles, as well as on-board technology that can track the vehicles. This will also allow us to tell customers in real-time when the bins have been collected in their street and confirm if their bin has been missed. This will help to reduce the time taken to deal with missed-bin reports, making us more efficient. CCTV coverage will also help with investigating any issues.
We are also considering buying our own waste collection vehicles, rather than hiring them, which will prove more cost effective in the long-term. Different internal layouts of the vehicles could also make the service more efficient. However, this will depend on the decisions and outcomes of the new collection arrangements that we have just consulted on.
Whilst these changes will help get the best value-for-money service, increasing recycling rates will give the most savings. Not only is recycling the right thing to do for environmental reasons, it is also the most cost-effective way of disposing of our waste.