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Sector looks at impact of austerity on waste services

Research is being undertaken into the impact of austerity measures on local authority waste and environmental quality services.

The study, a partnership between The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and Ricardo-AEA, will look at efficiency and other measures being implemented by authorities in areas such as collection scheme design, HWRC and bring bank provision, and partnership working.

As well as identifying successful initiatives, it will explore the likely effect of further cuts on services and the wider impact on local communities.

“Cuts in funding continue to impact upon local government and this study will investigate how local authorities across the UK and Ireland are responding, both now and in the future,” says CIWM’s technical manager Tracy Moffatt.

It will start with a large-scale survey of the sector followed by more qualitative research including targeted interviews. It is due to be published towards the end of 2014.

“So many of our clients have suffered at the hands of budget cutbacks, and have been taking difficult decisions on services, priorities and future procurement routes,” says Ricardo-AEA practice director Dr Adam Read.

“We have helped many of them to model the options and to take robust decisions, based on available data wherever possible, but we believe it is time to take stock and learn the lessons so that any future decision-making is based on real evidence and peer experience.”

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