Plastic Omnium offers ‘new solution’ for waste management

Plastic Omnium, a European market leader in waste containment solutions, with its UK base in Shropshire, has introduced Ecosourcing, dubbed "a complete waste management solution," to the British market.

The “cradle-to-grave” system tracks and manages waste containment, billing, reporting and customer communication. The company believes it will optimise recycling rates, collection revenue, profitability cash flow, route planning, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

According to Simon Dutta, Marketing Manager at Plastic Omnium, the turnkey solution to handle both plastic and metal containers is a first for the UK market. “We’ve been successfully offering this solution to our European customers in France and Benelux for a number of years and have just finished fine-tuning it for the UK market,”

he said.

“The real beauty of the Ecosourcing service is that it provides local authorities and waste management companies with detailed reports on their customers and collections thanks to identification and weighing technology. That information can be used to reduce costs, improve overall efficiency and increase the service experience for the customer. For example, collections are stamped for date, time and location as well as missed lifts being coded, with reasons, to prevent customer disputes,” he added.

French experience

The company cites a case study, where, with spiralling waste management costs and a recycling rate of only 15%, SICTOM Loir-et-Sarthe – a local authority in Maine-et-Loire, France – needed to find a way to incentivise householders to recycle more without increasing budgets.

The authority decided to introduce a financial incentive whereby residents who recycled more, paid less for their waste collection. But to achieve this, the muncipality needed to understand its residents’ waste habits.

To meet this goal, Plastic Omnium’s Ecosourcing Identification and Weighing System was introduced in 2004 in five pilot regions covering 44,000 residents. The project comprised three key phases. First, a steering committee, including SICTOM and Plastic Omnium, was created to measure the success of the scheme, as well as ensure a smooth handover from the existing system.

Second, a communications campaign was devised to persuade the public to recycle more. Door-to-door surveys helped residents determine the most suitable waste containers for their needs – both by type and size.

The final phase of Ecosourcing’s implementation involved the distribution of waste containers and registering these containers to individual homes by fitting them with an identification tag.

The Ecosourcing ID and Weighing System enabled SICTOM to automatically weigh the waste containers and generate individual invoices based on the actual residual (ie non-recyclable) waste produced by each householder. This gave householders a clear incentive to recycle more of their waste through recycling bring banks.

Within eight months, residents’ behaviour had changed dramatically. Recycling rates leapt from an average 15% to 50%, an increase of 233%, on glass, plastic, paper/carton and metal waste flows.

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