Developing Rutland County Council’s future Environmental Services

Resource Futures has been the retained technical adviser to Rutland County Council since 2020, assisting with the development of the strategic direction of its Environmental Services. The project covers five phases:

  • Phase 1: Review of waste infrastructure and development and writing of a new waste strategy.
  • Phase 2: Waste strategy public consultation.
  • Phase 3: Options appraisal for kerbside collection services.
  • Phase 4: Preferred collection profile option public consultation.
  • Phase 5: Reprocurement of the Environmental Services contracts.

The scope of work extended during these phases to include contract extension negotiations; delivery of waste composition analysis (WCA); end market modelling for dry mixed recycling; policy horizon scanning; an Anaerobic Digestion facility review; and broad ad hoc consultancy support throughout the phases.

Objectives

  • Develop and set out the long-term strategic direction of the service in a new waste strategy, reflecting key national legislative and policy drivers and identifying key areas of challenge and opportunity in the short, medium and long term.
  • Undertake an options appraisal project to identify a new service which meets key legislative and policy requirements, whilst recognising the financial constraints the council operates within.
  • Successfully re-procure the Environmental Services contracts so that they offer best value to residents whilst also meeting legislative and policy drivers, following the context of the options appraisal and waste strategy.
  • Provide holistic technical advice and guidance for the council in support of successfully reprocuring the Environmental Services contracts.

Approach

  • Resource Futures delivered a range of evidence reviews, enabling the Council to understand complex policy, legislative and infrastructure related issues and how they affected service delivery. For example, we conducted a rapid evidence assessment of current and planned anaerobic digestion facilities in the area immediately surrounding RCC for the anaerobic digestion facility review, allowing the Council to assess the future availability and capacity for treating food waste locally to enable the council to meet upcoming Government mandatory food collection legislation. We also identified future infrastructure requirements for RCC, enabling the Council to determine where current facilities would not remain fit for purpose in delivering future services. We then identified what future provision would be necessary to enable the Council to budget for significant future capital expenditure
  • We used a systematic literature review of Council, legislative and policy documents relevant to develop a new waste management and street scene strategy for the Council. Now re-written, this document provides the framework for the Council to deliver a legislatively compliant service as well as providing the context for re-procuring its services from 2024.
  • We delivered a range of online workshops and focus groups with key stakeholders at the Council, Councillors and residents to guide key stakeholders through the complexity of technical waste information and service issues during each phase of the project. This included: presenting and debating complex information for the options appraisal data requirements; discussing policy and legislative drivers for the development of the strategy and its targets; presenting technical information for the scoping of the infrastructure review project; planning and facilitating focus groups to support the preferred option public consultation project and holding workshops in support of guiding the council through the re-procurement of its Environmental Services contracts.
  • Resource Futures provided extensive quantitative research services to support the Council in each phase of the project. This included enabling the Council to accurately forecast budgets and to plan for future service changes that were fit for purpose, with a high degree of accuracy. We also modelled different options and scenarios and a range of outcomes based on market behaviours to inform future budget setting and assist in scoping re-procurement terms. We modelled kerbside collection configurations, undertaking sensitivity analyses on two options which considered the impact of reducing residual waste containment size and frequency.
  • We undertook a full waste composition analysis to determine qualitative data around avoidable residual waste to set the direction of travel for the waste service in the waste strategy.

Outcomes

  • The options appraisal identified a preferred option, which has been supported by residents in the public consultation exercise. This will now be used to specify services in the re-procurement exercise.
  • The Council has an approved long term Waste Management and Streetscene Strategy, through which future legislative requirements and targets will be delivered.
  • The outcomes of the re-procurement exercise will identify the most suitable service provider(s) to deliver the Environmental Services contracts in the most efficient way, working effectively to achieve the targets set out in the new waste strategy.

Project Information

Services involved

Waste Services

Team involved

Laura Snoulton
Waste Services Optimisation Lead

Agnieszka Chruszcz
Senior Consultant

Abigail Mason
Senior Consultant

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