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St Edmundsbury

West Suffolk Partnership Integrated Skills

West Suffolk councils save £180 000 in waste management costs

St Edmundsbury 1Following changes to waste disposal points, St. Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council have used geographical information systems (GIS) to help reorganise bin collections, reduce carbon emissions and save £180 000.

The challenge

The seven district and borough councils in Suffolk work together as members of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, which provides targets for sustainable waste management. Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have been working together since 2007 to improve customer service, optimise service delivery and reduce costs. Changes to the location and number of Suffolk County Council transfer stations necessitated a full round review; the tight timescale meant that amendments to the existing paperbased mapped rounds could not be achieved within the deadline

The solution

It was decided to use Ordnance Survey’s mapping data in conjunction with Integrated Skills Limited’s RouteSmart route optimisation solution and ESRI® ArcGIS.

The two councils’ geography was divided into zones that could be collected in a single day using a set of vehicles (allowing each round to be changed or extended without changing the collection day).

Detailed round design followed, ensuring that each round took about the same time and could be completed in the working day. Paper maps of new rounds were produced so that crews could operate in unfamiliar areas.

All approved building developments were included in the design of the rounds to absorb future growth, which removed the need for an extra collection round.

Current work includes reviewing the street cleansing services using the OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ (ITN) Layer – Urban Paths theme (as cleansing is carried out on footpaths and open spaces as well as roads) leading to a Shared Rural Channel Mechanical Sweeper service at a cost saving to both Councils – one vehicle now used instead of two.

St Edmundsbury 2The benefits

  • Reduced annual fuel costs of £45 000;
  • reduced overtime costs of £15 000;
  • £120 000 saved by reducing the number of rounds by one;
  • the ability to cost and mange future changes;
  • improved staff morale – all operatives finish work at a similar time; and
  • 24 000 fewer miles driven annually, saving 115 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions

Return on investment

‘A great example of partnership working and teamwork across a number of different work areas, utilising existing resources more efficiently using new technology to deliver a cost-effective service to the residents of Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury.’

Chris Silverwood, Operations Manager – Waste and Street Scene Services, St Edmundsbury Borough Council

Data products used:


  • OS MasterMap Topography Layer
  • OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Layer
  • OS OpenData™ products:
  • OS VectorMap® District
  • OS Street View®

Further Information

For further information contact Alan Paget, Sales & Marketing Director at ISL.

Integrated Skills Limited, Rownhams House, Rownhams, Southampton, SO16 8LS

Tel: 07875 126 666

About Integrated Skills Limited
Integrated Skills, operating with offices across the UK, is a specialist provider of routing and route optimisation software, smartphone & tablet solutions, environmental management software, highways management software as well as environmental consultancy in the following sectors:

  • Environmental service operations
  • Highways service operations
  • Parcel & post
  • Utilities
  • Logistics
  • Newspaper deliveries
ISL is the leading partner of RouteSmart Technologies Inc.™ for high density, door-by-door and street-by-street route optimisation software

ISL is a partner of ESRI for the ArcGIS platform.

For further information contact info@integrated-skills.com.

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