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Greening the borough

Exemplar Award Winner- Winner NLPG NSG Exemplar Award ‘Green Award’ 2010: London Borough of Harrow

Best example of where a service using the NLPG/LLPG or the NSG/LSG has either reduced environmental impact or increased greener outcomes

The London Borough of Harrow has overhauled its waste and recycling provision not only saving money but also dramatically improving its green credentials. The new services are all underpinned by the Council’s high quality LLPG.

At the heart of Harrow’s Waste and recycling provision is a new Waste Management system complete with dynamically linked mobile wireless touch screen terminals in all 35 vehicle cabs. This system is also linked in real time to Harrow’s call centre CRM. Both these key systems receive an LLPG refresh every 24 hours. The Waste Management system is also linked to a route optimisation module that uses the LLPG to calculate the most efficient routes for each of the collection services. LLPG integration extends to the borough’s online location based web portal, ‘My Harrow’, which, in turn, is linked back to the Waste Management system for bin collection scheduling.


Citizens in Harrow now benefit from three different bin types: recycled waste, general waste and organic waste. Engagement has been very successful and recycling has already exceeded the expectations laid out in the business case, resulting in an 18.8% reduction in landfill, delivering a first year saving of £195k.

Parent UPRNs have been created within the LLPG for multiple occupancy buildings, such as flats, which have communal bin facilities. This has enabled the LLPG to be used for route optimisation to create more efficient collection rounds. As new properties get built or existing properties get converted to flats, the LLPG is updated and routes are automatically re-calculated. This has resulted in a 15% fuel reduction valued at £11,000 in the first year alone, with consequent reductions in CO2 emissions. In a fast growing borough like Harrow, with a number of new developments, the accuracy of the LLPG will be vital in maintaining these levels of service efficiency and in reducing the council’s carbon footprint.

Harrow’s waste and recycling project has also delivered efficiencies elsewhere, thanks to systems integration enabled by the LLPG. In the customer contact centre, operatives now have full visibility of the waste management system via CRM integration. This enables them to see the real time status of the collections and to explain the reason to anyone who calls in to report a missed collection. Previously, staff would have had to wait for and sift through forms filled out by the returning crews before phoning the customer back. Citizens can also report non-collection and other waste and recycling problems via the borough’s web site.

Systems integration enabled by the LLPG on this project has had a significant impact both on the call centre and on the level of traffic going through the ‘My Harrow’ web portal. There has been a massive drop in complaints due to the availability of real time information; call duration has dropped and follow-up calls reduced to a trickle. The switch to the web channel has led to 200 fewer waste related calls per week.

The council intends to use the information it gets back from the system to target areas where there are high levels of noncollection, due to contamination and a lack of understanding of the recycling process. By educating and encouraging more citizens to recycle and dispose of their waste properly, the council hopes to further improve its recycling rates and make Harrow a greener place.

Key benefits

  • Recycling rate for household waste is on target to reach 50% by 2011
  • Reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by 18.8%
  • Route optimisation minimises travelling distance and number of vehicles required
  • 15% reduction in fuel with consequent reduction in CO2 emissions
  • Reduced costs and improved efficiency of the customer contact centre Improved customer satisfaction with the waste and recycling service
  • Overall savings of £3.2m over ten years

View from the authority

“Through this project, which relies heavily on the LLPG, we will hit the 50% target for recycling of household waste in 2011. We have reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by 18.8%, and achieved a 15% reduction in the fuel consumed by our waste and recycling fleet, with a consequent reduction in CO 2 emissions. Together with the improvements we have made to our internal systems, and through educating and encouraging citizens to recycle and dispose of their waste properly, Harrow has taken significant strides to improving its ‘Green’ credentials.”

-Matt Pennells, GIS Officer, London Borough of Harrow

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