Gravesham Borough Council optimises route management with the help of Eurobios

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Gravesham in Kent operates a direct services organisation for refuse and recycling.

The service offered very good value for money; however the rounds were in need of a review due to the opening of a new transfer station in the Borough.

WasteConsulting was asked to conduct a full route optimisation of the round structure and to provide revised street routes that would offer substantial savings over existing rounds. Working in partnership with Eurobios, the project was delivered over a four month period and needed to be completed in time for the opening of the new facility.  

The team began with collating existing operational data from Gravesham. This was then used to run scenarios in the Eurobios Waste Optimiser to produce draft new rounds. Once WasteConsulting had agreed the route structure with the Gravesham management, they undertook crew consultation to review the output. Feedback from crews is vital to the smooth implementation of new round structures and minor adjustments to the structure were fed back to the optimiser.  

A second round of consultation was undertaken with a small number of crews to confirm round changes that had been made. As a consequence of WasteConsultings experience in this area and the close working relationship with Gravesham management and staff, changes to the rounds at this stage were kept to a minimum. Final stages of the round preparation, street routes and maps were completed in a short timeframe in advance of the facility opening date. The rounds were very successfully implemented in November 2008. To date the new rounds are operating very well and client satisfaction remains high.  

The optimised rounds were able to reduce the refuse collection fleet by a whole vehicle, whilst a shared RCV was able to be removed from the recycling collection. In all, this represented a 20% increase in crew productivity with an annual projected saving on fleet and crew costs of 160,000 per annum.  

East Kent Waste Partnership

Four districts in East Kent have joined forces to achieve efficiency savings through joint working in refuse and recycling collection. As part of the project business case, WasteConsulting was asked to review the existing rounds across all four authorities and at a high level determine the levels of efficiencies achievable through the removal of the district boundaries.  

In order to set up and run the Eurobios Waste Optimiser system, operational data was provided by each council. This represented a considerable dataset totalling some 220,000 households. Rounds were then optimised using EWO to provide a high level view of the savings that could be achieved through joint working. In addition, three scenarios were introduced which evaluated the impact on efficiency of different depots and transfer station locations.  

The output from the completed scenarios provided key resource information into the project modelling which identified savings in fleet size and rounds over the current operational arrangements. The output from the project was therefore central to the business case of the partnership going forward. Moreover it demonstrated the capabilities of the Eurobios Waste Optimiser across a large UK region.

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