Innovation and development

Innovation and development

Waste authorities face increased budget constraints, yet statutory targets mean that teams responsible for waste management services are under increasing pressure to deliver. As waste teams are rationalised, key competencies and expertise are often lost.

The development and innovation delivery area aims to address this, developing expertise and providing innovation to waste authorities to reduce identified skills gaps and enable progressive solutions to be implemented. The delivery area contains two work streams:

  1. Training and upskilling; and
  2. Research and innovation.

Training and upskilling

Training and upskilling sessions will be delivered in a variety of ways including workshops, dissemination events, subject specific surgeries and webinars and be tailored to the subject matter. The first activity to be undertaken within this work stream will be to identify specific areas where training would be beneficial and the method by which this could be delivered most effectively. The programme will also consider other potential ways it can support waste authorities to provide centralised support and expertise e.g. hold a central officer resource.

Based on current intelligence we envisage the following activities will take place in 2015/2016:

  • Communications training – through the existing Borough Communications Support programme a skills gap has been identified with regards to understanding effective householder communications. By offering training, we will support the behaviour change delivery area and minimise the future reliance on funded and advisory support from the programme. This training will include sessions on communications planning and design principles.
  • Commercial waste and recycling training – In support of the Income Generating Service delivery area we will provide training on how to set up and run effective commercial waste services.
  • Marketing of Materials Workshop – In support of the Income Generating Services delivery area we will deliver this WRAP workshop in London, aimed at helping local authorities maximise the benefit from the dry recyclables collected as part of their provision of waste services.
  • Sector developments – In recognition of the ongoing innovation and research with the sector, we also plan to hold dissemination events on current issues and good practice guidance. Subjects could include the Mayor’s greenhouse gas emissions performance standard (EPS), procurement, changes in legislation, WEEE collections and barriers to recycling in the home.

Research and innovation

This work stream will commission and contribute to research and innovation projects to support the aims and objectives of the programme or specific delivery areas. Identified opportunities include:

  • Support of national trials and research
  • Dense urban recycling

The dense urban recycling project focuses on maximising terraced housing stock and converted houses etc. It will include testing communications and a trial of new scheme design and monitoring. The programme will ensure that at least one participating authority is a London borough. The national project will be funded centrally by WRAP with the London based projects funded from the programme budget.

Recycling collections from flats
A project focusing on maximising capture in low and high rise private and rented flats. The project will include testing communications and the trial of new scheme design and monitoring. The programme will ensure that at least one participating authority is a London borough. As with the above project, the national project will be funded centrally by WRAP and the London based projects funded from the programme budget.

  • London based trials and research
  • Road map to harmonised services

This could include establishing the rationale for harmonisation of services including: a cost benefit analysis of harmonising services; which services provide the greatest opportunity; and what effect harmonisation would have on capture and quality of recyclate.

The harmonisation of ancillary services such as clinical waste and WEEE collections, which can be extremely expensive for individual authorities to operate, offers one such opportunity.

This work stream will investigate the viability of a co-ordinated approach to collection activities. This research could also look at the potential for harmonising collection services by housing type (e.g. flats, low-rise), and would also support activity around the joint marketing of materials including considering future material pricing and risk transfer (linked to Income Generating Services delivery area).