Agenda Item No: B1
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
22 April 2008
Report by Director for Community Leadership
Cabinet Member with responsibility for Environment: Councillor Ben Smith
Subject: Proposed New Kitchen Food Waste Collection, Treatment and Processing Service
Advice: Cabinet is asked to approve the undertaking of a procurement process to determine
the affordability implications of a kitchen food waste collection, treatment and
1. Intended Outcome
1.1 The intention is to undertake a procurement process to determine the cost of weekly
collection, treatment and processing of kitchen food waste either on a county-wide
basis or throughout some parts of the county of Northamptonshire. This will allow a
full business case to be completed, the approval of which to be obtained at a later
Cabinet meeting should it be deemed viable to award contract.
1.2 The new service will make a significant contribution towards the county’s combined
waste recycling and composting performance. Should all Northamptonshire Waste
Partnership (NWP) authorities participate in the service this will increase this
performance by around 6% and in doing so divert approximately 30,000 tonnes of
organic waste from landfill each year. The provision of this service will allow the
councils of Northamptonshire to achieve the recycling rate required by the National
Waste Strategy and contribute towards meeting the criteria for the awarding of PFI
Credits for the Joint Residual Waste Project.
1.3 The service will be introduced on the basis of a partnership approach with all or
some of the NWP authorities working together. The project will therefore be an
excellent example of partnership working and will facilitate the two tiers of local
authorities in Northamptonshire working together to provide affordable, accessible
1.4 The new service, along with the innovative approach to joint working, is likely to be a
showcase service, in line with latest ‘Best Practice’ advice from Government.
1.5 The benefits the service will provide include an additional service to the public and
an increase in recycling and composting rates.
2. Relevant Council Strategic Goal and Priority
2.1 The Medium Term Plan vision is "one organisation focused on customers and
community leadership", to be achieved by the following strategic goals and priorities:
Medium Term Plan and Strategic Goals Council Priority
Communities A cleaner and greener The built, natural and public
county environment is better developed and
One organisation Maximising influence The county’s reputation and the
and resources council’s performance are
acknowledged as high quality by
One organisation Sustaining an excellent customers, communities, visitors,
organisation businesses and regulators
The council lives within its means,
providing services at a cost to the
local taxpayer that increases by no
more than the rate of inflation,
provided that changes in central
government funding do not prevent
3.1 The Northamptonshire Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy (NJMWMS),
policy 3, states that; ‘We will provide quality, convenient collection services so as to
maximise the opportunity for the separate collection of dry recyclables and organic
3.2 Specifically, the policy includes for introducing collections of materials not currently
targeted, in particular kitchen food waste. Accordingly, the Strategy includes an action
for a review of approaches to collection of kitchen food waste, by the NWP partners,
to be completed by the end of 2007.
3.3 The project is currently being developed on the basis of the NWP authorities who
comprise all of the Northamptonshire District and Borough Councils along with
Northamptonshire County Council working together to investigate the implementation
of the new service.
4.1 The kitchen food waste feasibility study, along with the associated detailed work, has
been developed by the NWP authorities’ members and officers.
4.2 Prior to the production of this report meetings have been held between the Head of
Waste Management and the respective Senior Officers of the NWP authorities, to
discuss and agree the potential outline cost/ benefit implications, associated with this
project and to obtain an approval in principal to undertake a procurement process to
further understand the cost implications of implementing the new service.
4.3 Kitchen food waste collection, treatment and processing is included as a potential
policy within the latest draft Northamptonshire Joint Municipal Waste
Management Strategy, which is dealt with elsewhere on this agenda.
4.4 The kitchen food waste project communications plan will include for specific
consultation to be undertaken with individual households in the county as appropriate,
prior to the final development and implementation of the new service.
5.1 Currently there are no arrangements for the separate kerbside collection of kitchen
food waste. It is estimated that each household in the county produces around 160kg
of kitchen food waste each year which means a total of 46,000 tonnes of additional
waste being landfilled each year. To reiterate, the NWP authorities wish to undertake a
procurement process which will allow all participating authorities to ascertain whether
suitable facilities for the collection, treatment and processing of kitchen food waste are
available and to understand the true cost implications of implementing the service.
5.2 The project covers the following:
(i) The Procurement Process for a Kitchen Waste Collection, Processing and
The procurement exercise will commence in May 2008 and will invite tenders for
the following service options (referred to as ‘Lots’):
o Lot 1 - Pricing (by separate tonnage bands) for processing and treatment only
of kitchen food waste.
o Lot 2 – Pricing for fully-integrated contract which includes collection,
treatment and processing (by separate tonnage bands)/PR/ Communication
activities, supply of bins and caddies. This will allow a costs comparison to
be undertaken on collection costs i.e. NWP Waste Collection Authorities
(WCA) authorities providing collection services in-house or obtaining these
services from an external contractor.
The District and Borough Councils, via the NWP, will play a key role in the
procurement process in terms of specifying requirements and during the
evaluation of tenders.
(ii) The Kitchen Waste Collection and Associated Services and Contact(s)
A pre-launch, consultation, education and publicity campaign for the new kitchen
food waste collection service.
The supply and delivery of kitchen caddies and kitchen waste bins to each
household being provided with a service.
The weekly collection of kitchen waste from ‘kerbside’ collections and delivery to
kitchen waste treatment plant(s) located within or close to the county boundary.
Subsequent monitoring and post launch publicity to identify, and where
appropriate, increase participation levels in the new kitchen food waste collection
(iii) Joint Working Agreements for all Participating NWP Authorities
Joint Working Agreements will need to be completed by all NWP authorities
participating in the service. The Agreements will cover elements such as roles and
responsibilities, risk and benefit share of the service.
6. Timetable for Implementation
6.1 The project key stages are as follows:
May 2008 - Procurement process for kitchen food waste collection, treatment and
processing services commences.
September 2008 - Joint Working Agreements, between NWP authorities to be formally
September/October 2008 – Key decision point by all participating NWP authorities
whether to award contract and continue with the mobilisation process or to stop
process. This will involve Cabinet/Committee approvals being obtained by each NWP
authority participating in the process.
November/December 2008 - Mobilisation of new kitchen food waste collection,
treatment and processing service.
February 2008 – Public consultation and pre-launch publicity.
April 2009 – Anticipated start date of new service.
7. Financial Implications
7.1 The costs of a separate kitchen waste collection service would impact on both the
WCAs as well as on the County Council. In general, WCA collection costs would
increase and disposal costs would decrease.
The overall affordability of such a scheme will, therefore, be based on:
o The response of the market to the various lots as described above;
o The commitment of the WCAs to contribute to the collection costs of any new
o The net impact on the County Council of both of the above.
7.2 A feasibility study has proved inconclusive, and it is felt that by undertaking a
procurement exercise the true costs of the various approaches (as identified as lots 1
and 2 below) can be fully assessed in financial terms.
7.3 The procurement process will allow tenderers to submit proposals for two different
options, referred to as ‘Lots’. Lot 1 will allow for pricing to be submitted for the
treatment and processing of kitchen food waste only. Lot 2 will allow for tenderers to
submit a fully-priced solution. This would mean that all services such as collection,
treatment, processing, provision of bins and caddies as well as PR/Communications
activities could be provided under one contract. It is hoped that this option will provide
economies of scale and therefore, prove better value for money.
7.4 Should the procurement process indicate that neither of the options offer value for
money, the County Council will discuss and agree with the District and Borough
Councils whether or not it is viable or not to award contract for this service.
7.5 As part, however, of any final value for money assessment (as outlined in 7.4 above)
the County Council will additionally have to take account of the implications to the
residual waste PFI project should a separate kitchen food waste collection not go
ahead. Therefore, the cost to the council of a residual waste contract that includes, or
does not include, a separate kitchen food waste collection scheme will need to be
quantified, and taken into account prior to any final decision.
7.6 Because of the uncertainty of the cost implications no financial implications in respect
of a separate kitchen food waste collection service have as yet been included in the
current medium term financial plans of the Council.
7.5 The cost of undertaking a procurement process will include the services of an external
technical adviser; the costs of which should be approximately £20k and will be met by
the County Council from existing waste management budgets.
8.1 Benefits the Service will Deliver include:
The diversion of an approximate additional 30,000 tonnes of waste from landfill each
year should all NWP authorities participate in the scheme.
An immediate full year improvement in the combined recycling performance for the
County of approximately 6% should all NWP authorities participate in the scheme
A key NWP initiative.
This proposal reduces the risk associated with the Joint Residual Waste Project
should it not be delivered by 2014/2015. This is because any delay to the Residual
Treatment facility could cause costs to increase, i.e. Landfill Tax, as more waste
would potentially have to go to landfill.
Provides Northamptonshire households, covered by the service, with a weekly
collection of kitchen waste and will therefore reduce perceived problems associated
with alternate weekly collection of residual waste.
9.1 If the separate collection does not proceed this could impact on the Joint Residual Waste
Project either by
o Increasing the cost of the residual waste scheme itself;
o Reducing the overall recycling rate to a level that would not be high enough to
attract PFI credits to the scheme.
10.1 It is recommended that the Cabinet Members endorse this request to proceed with the
procurement process (as described in Paragraph 5.2).
Author: Name: Steve Bell and Stephanie McCahill
Team: Waste Management
Contact details: Tel: 01604 236539 Fax: 01604 237331
Is this report proposing a key decision is YES
If yes, is the decision in the Forward YES
Is this report proposing an amendment to NO
the budget and/or policy and framework?
Have the financial implications been YES
cleared by the strategic finance manager Name of SFM: Eric Symons
Has the report been cleared by the YES
relevant Director? Name of Director: Danny Brennan
Has the relevant Cabinet Member been YES
consulted? Name of Cabinet Member: Cllr Ben Smith
Have any legal implications been cleared YES
by Legal Services? Name of solicitor: Chris Whittington
Has an Equalities Impact Assessment NO
been carried out in relation to this report?
Are there any community safety Not directly, but the waste management
implications? strategy will contribute to any relevant
community safety priorities regarding waste.
Are there any environmental implications: YES
The new service will result in the conversion
of kitchen waste into a reusable compost
product, along with a reduction in
biodegradable waste to landfill.
Are there any human rights implications: YES
All suitable households will be provided with
access to the new service, in areas where
the new service is being introduced.
Constituency Interest: All potentially