6 March 2022

Helping the country understand what goes in our bins

We worked with our partners at Zero Waste Scotland to put a waste analysis framework in place


As the national drive towards Net Zero gains momentum, there is key focus on the need to have a strong circular economy that continues to develop the waste reduction and recycling principles which Scotland has embedded in the last two decades.

Scotland Excel has launched a framework that will help councils take part in a national programme to analyse what people throw away, in a bid to understand how we can send less to landfill.
The framework offers a mechanism for local authorities to procure the services of suitably qualified service providers to conduct waste composition analysis (“WCA”).

This includes sorting and detailed reporting of analysis results following scrutiny of waste collected from households at the kerbside and/or via Household Waste & Recycling Centres.

The framework has been delivered with support from Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) – the national organisation that informs policy and motivates individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic and social benefits of a circular economy.

Scotland Excel has a long-established relationship with ZWS because it is the policy driver for waste and recycling. Additionally, Scotland Excel already has several waste and recycling frameworks in place for councils to use.

ZWS knew that Scotland Excel has the expertise to put in place and manage national frameworks relating to waste and recycling. It is more efficient to build a single framework, run one tender exercise and do the contract management at a central point, rather than 32 councils doing so individually.

Scotland Excel developed this framework arrangement on behalf of its member councils so it can be utilised for their own needs, as well as for those who wish to participate in contributing to the ZWS programme.

How it was achieved

The long-term aspiration of the framework is to utilise the quality data produced to inform future policy decisions relating to recycling in this country. As such, it was key that the framework specification ensured a consistent and high level of quality data.

As it is the first framework of its kind in Scotland, Scotland Excel’s team worked closely with ZWS to establish how consistent data gathering methodology could be embedded in the framework.

This was a challenge especially when council areas vary from densely urban areas to remote and rural.

The procurement process followed the open tender process to ensure maximum competition and inclusion for all potential providers to service the framework with prices fixed for 12 month periods.

Five UK-based businesses were awarded a place onto the framework. Four of the five suppliers on the four-year framework are Small to Medium Enterprises and one is based in Scotland.

• Albion Environmental Limited, SME, Ayr
• Alfred H Knight Energy Services Limited, SME, Prescot
• Resource Futures Limited, SME, Bristol
• Integrated Skills Limited, SME, Leeds
• RPS Consulting Services Limited, large business, Abingdon

Next steps

The Framework is now live and available for use by Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities, Tayside Contracts, the Scottish Prison Service, Scotland Excel Associate Members and any ‘Integration authority, or other body, established pursuant to the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014’.

The forecast annual spend for participating councils and associate members, with contingency, is £750,000 per annum, equating to an estimated £3 million over the full 4-year term of the framework.

Hugh Carr, Head of Strategic Procurement from Scotland Excel said: “This first-generation framework for the Waste Composition Analysis Services maximises collaboration, facilitates the procurement of a waste composition analysis services, promotes added value and delivers best value in terms of price, quality and service.

“Reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill has been a key focus of local and national government for some time. Our framework will give councils quick and easy access to five suppliers who are ready to do business to work with them to gather their local household waste data.

“This vital information can produce a national picture, with the overall aim of understanding how Scotland could send less to landfill at a time when this is more important than ever. Scotland Excel is delighted to have been the enabler for this important work in partnership with ZWS.”

The framework joins other key frameworks in the Scotland Excel environment portfolio that support councils with their recycling efforts.