The purpose of this Technical Note is to provide Members with information in relation to the levels of performance for the net cost of waste collection and disposal for the financial year 2019/20 as highlighted in the Audit Scotland - Annual Audit report. This report was tabled at Council on 10 December 2020 where the Council remained in the lower quartile for both indicators, it is considered that these costs reflect the higher service levels provided rather than poor performance for these activities.
The Local Government benchmarking Indicators for waste collection and disposal is heavily influenced by the frequency of the services provided; the individual waste streams collected by each individual local authority; and the levels of waste & recycling generated for treatment and disposal through this activity.
Historically East Dunbartonshire Council has provided a high level of service in this area which generates higher costs. The service has also consistently achieved a higher recycling performance than the majority of other councils throughout this time. The service continues to maintain fortnightly general waste collections where other authorities have moved to three and four weekly cycles. The service also continues to provide a twin stream fortnightly recycling service; separate weekly food waste collections; and a very successful garden waste service with no charges or limits applied for uplift.
The service frequency and method of collection has a significant impact on the resources and fleet required, including higher levels of overhead allocations to support delivery of this service which subsequently generates a higher than average cost in this area.
Following a further review of fleet assets and vehicle replacements, overhead allocations have been updated for this activity, in order to improve efficiency within this performance indicator. It is envisaged that this will lead to improvements in future years as the service transitions out of the pandemic response.
It is also considered that recent contractor changes for both residual waste treatment and dry recycling, will assist in improving recycling rates and operational revenue costs for waste indicators in future years.