Environmental services managers face mounting responsibility

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More than a third (36%) of environmental services managers in local authorities, government or infrastructure agencies rank ‘mounting environmental responsibilities’ among the three main challenges they face

The next two biggest challenges were ‘increased fly-tipping’ (36%), and ‘difficulties of meeting the cost of running environmental services’ (35%).

These are among the key findings of a new survey commissioned by technology company, Yotta.

The study also revealed that more than four in ten (42%) of environmental services managers admit that if the level of government funding drops over the next five years, the frequency of their service offerings will reduce.

39% revealed they would have to start charging for bulky items or garden waste collections if funding levels fell.

In line with this, commercialising more waste collection services, such as bulky and garden waste is seen as one of the two biggest environmental services priorities by 39% of survey respondents.

Only ‘improving access to relevant data to drive enhanced decision-making’ is a slightly higher priority, with 40% of the sample citing it.

Tim Woolven, product consultant at Yotta, said: “With funding still tight for environmental services provision, it is no surprise to see councils and local authorities looking to achieve a positive income contribution from offering services such as bulky or garden waste collection.

“Public demand for these services remains high despite the charges – and so this represents a potentially significant source of income for councils.

“Over the coming years we could see a reduction of councils solely operating on an in-house basis as they look to third parties to help implement new technologies that can drive efficiencies across environmental services.”

The research also highlighted that currently 95% of environmental services managers believe their organisation is not making extensive use of third party data sets to help support environmental-based decisions.

Overall, the survey found that 50% of environmental services managers polled said their organisation was currently using a mix of in-house and outsourced service provision. Currently 25% of organisations rely on either in-house or outsourced provisions exclusively.

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