Bournemouth Borough Council

Bournemouth is a unitary authority on the south coast of England and is a popular tourist destination. It has a mainly urban population of over 160 000 people. The council has decided to maintain its household waste collection service as an in-house operation.

In 2005 the council had to procure new refuse collection vehicles to replace its existing fleet, which was approaching the end of its useful life.

The type of vehicle required was determined by the authority operating comingled collections rather than a kerbside sort for recyclables. In deciding on the type of vehicle required, council officers identified a number of key safety features they required, to maximise the safety of the vehicle crew. This resulted from a review of the risk assessment of waste collections in the borough.

Safety features

The required additional safety features included:

The authority then obtained a vehicle on a trial basis. This allowed the authority to consider the views of the crews on the new vehicle before going ahead with the rest of the fleet. The crews were represented during the process through their union safety representatives.

The final decision to go ahead with the chosen vehicle was based on the provision of the features described above and feedback from the crews. It was not based on price. The chosen vehicle was not the cheapest available, but was considered best value taking into account its ability to deliver required services as safely as possible.

The authority has kept the vehicles under review and, during the years since the lease/hire was started, has looked at new and emerging technologies being used by neighbouring authorities. This will help them make a more informed judgement on the types of vehicle they procure when the current vehicles are due for replacement.

Updated: 2021-06-30