November 2016

Eunomia Helps Council Save £1M On New Contract


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  • Eunomia supported North Somerset Council to procure a new Waste Collection and HWRC (Household Waste Recycling Centre) contract that starts in March 2017
  • Eunomia developed a streamlined two-stage competitive dialogue process to find a contractor that was both innovative and drove down costs
  • A reduction in contract price in the region of £1million per annum was made between the stages of the procurement process

Eunomia has helped North Somerset Council to secure a new waste collections and HWRC contract with Biffa that will keep costs down and recycling rates high.

Eunomia worked with North Somerset on all stages of the procurement process, from developing the procurement strategy to vetting the feasibility of proposals and awarding the contract. The consultants worked closely with the council throughout a 17-month project, first laying the groundwork for a successful procurement before launching the process.

North Somerset is a high performer in the recycling league tables and came second in Eunomia’s Recycling Carbon Index this year. Through the procurement, it was a high priority to ensure that the resulting contract would at a minimum offer the ability to maintain current recycling rates and carbon savings, but it was hoped that improvements could be made whilst maintaining a cost-effective service for its residents.

The Project Leader for Eunomia Principal Consultant Andy Grant said:

“When procuring a new waste contract it’s important to do all you can to make sure that the process is competitive. In this case, we developed a streamlined two-stage competitive dialogue process, with dialogue limited to a few areas of the contract, resulting in strong engagement with suppliers throughout the process and maximised competition. The final contract included a 50/50 risk share mechanism between the authority and contractor on recyclate prices – a pragmatic approach that means you can get a better price. An incentive payment mechanism was also incorporated to encourage higher recycling rates at the HWRCs.”

Another step designed to increase competition was to ensure that the authority could provide a depot from which the successful contractor could operate. This levelled the playing field, enabling bidders to compete even if they did not have a current site within North Somerset. Eunomia identified potential sites for the depot and provided support with the planning and permitting process, ensuring it would be available in good time for the winning supplier to roll out its service.

Debbie Fletcher, also Principal Consultant at Eunomia, supported the project. She added:

“When considering new waste and recycling contracts you need to know that what’s being suggested will actually work. At Eunomia we pride ourselves on our operational expertise, and have used it to develop a series of templates and tools that offer councils greater assurance that bidders’ proposals are feasible. We also provide training to individuals tasked with evaluating bids, to ensure a robust and transparent outcome.”

Beginning in March 2017, and worth £49 million over the first seven years, the new contract will see the introduction of new initiatives to increase recycling including separation of hard plastics at HWRC, collection of small WEEE at kerbside and introducing  different coloured boxes to help residents increase kerbside separation, which will in turn improve collection efficiency. To assist in the removal of potential trade waste from the domestic waste stream the contract offers a commercial waste collection and trade waste disposal facilities at HWRCs for SMEs. The contract has a strong emphasis on social value, with the contractor committing to provide apprenticeships and trainee posts in the local area, to help meet the Council’s aspiration that at least 90% of the workforce will hail from North Somerset.