Wheelie bins increase Camden recycling rates

Veolia Environmental Services UK is contracted to operate waste management and street cleansing services on behalf of the London Borough of Camden, in north London. The contract builds on Veolia’s more than three decades of experience of delivering waste management services to local authorities in the capital.

Waste management contracts in London usually run for seven years and Veolia first began delivering this service in Camden in 2003. That contract ran until 2010, when it was renewed until 2017. At that point the contract was put out to tender. Veolia applied for and won the new contract, which covers the following eight years.

The current contract

The current contract requires Veolia to achieve reductions in spending on waste management from £23m to £18m per year, and to improve recycling figures from 25% to 40% by 2020.

To achieve this, Veolia first studied the services delivered to the area’s 250,000 local residents, who live in approximately 120,000 properties. Half of these are low-rise residences and half are high-rise. Ultimately, new waste collection arrangements were introduced for those living in low-rise properties.

It was found that 85% of waste could be recycled, so weekly collections of recycling materials continued, whilst collection of non-recyclable waste moved to a fortnightly cycle from 1st April 2017.

Veolia was supplied by Plastic Omnium with 25,000 two-wheel, 240-litre capacity Citybac® bins. These were distributed to residents from a depot near Hanger Lane in London, with the majority being in situ by the end of March 2017. Other residents were offered specially-designed waste bags, but some have requested one of the Plastic Omnium two-wheel bins and these are delivered on-demand. Black rubbish bags are no longer accepted.

In addition, residents were asked to present their waste in a new way. Building on their previous experience, they were asked to present their wheelie bins or bags at ground level by 7am in the morning on the day of collection. This means that the waste collection teams no longer have to enter the basements of houses to collect the waste, as they had done in the past.

In addition, each waste collection truck was fitted with four cameras – one at each corner of the vehicle – to monitor presentation of waste, fly tipping instances and any other environmental incidents. Furthermore, the vehicle fleet was upgraded so that half of it now runs on alternative fuel solutions, whilst the remainder continue to run on diesel.

Why choose Plastic Omnium’s Citybac® products?

Plastic Omnium’s Citybac® range of two-wheel bins offers a high degree of practicality and offers pleasing aesthetics. Available in a range of capacities, from 60-litre to 360-litre, and in a selection of colours and colour combinations, Citybac® bins are fitted with ergonomically-designed covers, which include side grips for easy opening and are shaped to avoid retaining rain and washing water.

The bins also have curved, structured sides which offer greater rigidity. Meanwhile, the bins’ handles are designed to facilitate collection, and comply with manual handling regulations and European-standards requirements. Numerous integrated anti-noise devices also improve users’ quality of life. Furthermore, a range of optional technology solutions can be fitted – for example to monitor fill levels – whilst complying fully with data protection requirements.


Veolia’s extensive use in Camden of Plastic Omnium’s products has already enabled the company to deliver improved recycling rates, and data will be available later in the year.

Whilst it is still very early in the lifetime of this contract the London Borough of Camden is already enjoying service improvements and financial savings are expected to be significant.

Vincent Masseri, Senior Contract Manager at Veolia Environmental Services UK, comments: “Plastic Omnium are very well organised. Their products are high quality, the company is easy to work with and we have a good relationship. In preparing for our new waste management service in Camden, Plastic Omnium had to work against a tight deadline and the logistics were complicated, but they delivered on time. I thoroughly recommend them.”


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