It has been estimated that councils across the country could make a total saving of up to £70m through more efficient procurement methods when purchasing waste products.
A DCLG commissioned report, carried out by Local Partnerships, a joint agency of the Local Government Association and the Treasury, has revealed that savings of up to 10% on vehicles and 35% on wheeled bins could be achieved through “clearer specification” and “procuring in larger volumes in partnership with other councils”.
Currently, there is no specific method in which councils manage the procurement of their waste goods across the whole of England. If councils purchase together, procuring around 50,000 240-litre wheelie bins, as opposed to smaller orders of around 1,000 then councils should make savings in the range of 35-45%.
There are some barriers to this. One of the main arguments against is due to ‘local preferences’ for waste products such as a particular colour of bin or embossed council logos. Also it is estimated that councils are spending £5 more on individual units than in Germany where each bin is exactly the same.
In today's current climate it is important to acknowledge the ongoing strain that local councils are under due to public spending cuts. This can negate their ability to innovate in the future with the lack of a strong budget and reduced staff resource. 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 frameworks that will be needed.