It seems every council we visit right now wants to talk about new builds. Given the Government’s pledge to ramp up to house building to over 300,000 new homes a year in the next five years it perhaps hardly surprising. And with those new homes set to cost the average council an extra £61,000 a year to service it doesn’t look like it’s an issue that’s going to go away soon.
So what are the issues, apart from the cost?
There seem to be two key issues. One is understanding the resource and budget that will be required to service the additional properties. The second is identifying when new builds become ‘active’ and need to start receiving service.
To understand the budget impact, there are a couple of ways our customers use to assess the future resource required. The first is useful where an approximate number of new builds is known, but the likely location is not. Using this method our customers can quickly see the impact on performance and what resource they will need to meet the increased demand.
As the locations of new developments become known, you can be even more accurate. Using this information allows you to see the impact more locally, while again giving a quick but accurate picture of future resourcing and costs.
So new homes get built. What then?
There appears to be a number of methods that councils are currently using to identify when new homes require their waste collection service to start. Planning and Council Tax data alongside the LLPG is obviously one source, but this is often backed-up with crew intelligence and the knowledge of the local depot team to identify when homes are actually being lived in. Those council’s that have started charging for bins at new properties can also use the bin delivery to act as a trigger to add them to a round.
One of the things we’ll be talking to our customers about over the coming year is the usefulness of each of these methods, and seeing if there are ways we can help them overcome some of the limitations and connect processes to make things as efficient as possible.
If new builds do start to rise in line with the government’s targets, then this sounds like a subject that isn’t going to go away.