The client

Rugby Borough Council

The brief

To implement a waste collection solution that:

Improved the council’s urban environment by delivering a cleaner and greener streetscape;

Provided a contemporary and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional bins;

Reduced unnecessary manual waste collections and the associated vehicle movements and emissions;

Cemented Rugby’s reputation as a pioneering and innovative town.

The project

As the birthplace of one of the world’s most loved sports, Rugby Borough Council continues to attract thousands of people from across the globe, particularly during times of major rugby tournaments and competitions.

To compound the challenges associated with periodic surges in footfall, Rugby was the only venue in the UK during the Rugby World Cup with a ‘fanzone’ but that did not host matches, which meant that pubs, bars and other public venues were expected to rapidly fill up, placing pressure on the town’s waste collection infrastructure.

Prior to the Rugby World Cup, the council conducted a review of its streetscene and concluded that not only would its traditional bins fail to manage the waste generated by the predicted influx of 40,000 people but also, given how its entire fleet of town centre bins were in different states of disrepair, they misrepresented the town’s progressive attitude and values.

Similarly, busy parks and children’s play areas were experiencing overfull bins, particularly over the weekends, which meant that waste collection crews were having to make specific collections to only a handful of units. Whilst this ensured that families did not have to experience overfull bins and litter, it required significant resource to manage.

Following a tender process Bigbelly was chosen to be Rugby’s waste collection partner.

The result

In October 2015 Rugby Borough Council replaced 56 traditional bins, each of which had traditionally received between two and three collections per day, with 23 Bigbelly smart stations. In only 12 months (6 October 2015 – 6 October 2016) of using Bigbelly Rugby Borough Council has:

Reduced manual waste collections from 51,100 per year to only 1,509 per year – a saving of 49,591 collections;

Achieved a 97 per cent reduction in collections, waste collection lorry miles and the associated carbon emissions;

Increased operational efficiency by replacing the annual operational cost of servicing 56 bins with that of only 23 bins;

Reallocated the resource saved through minimising waste collections to other street cleansing services. For example, litter picking on the main trunk roads into Rugby town centre would often get neglected as a result of the time and cost required to send a crew out to address any issues; now all elements of the public realm are attended to as a direct result of Bigbelly;

Eliminated overfull bins from public spaces and children’s play areas without having to commit crews to make ad hoc and unplanned weekend collection trips; Bigbelly’s compaction technology buys time by simply increasing the bins’ capacity when required;

Futureproofed Rugby Borough Council’s waste collection strategy for future international sporting events and annual inductions into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

Bigbelly Triple Unit

“For a long time now we’ve wanted to do things differently, yet couldn’t find the solution that could achieve what we needed without going over budget. Now that we’ve found Bigbelly, not only can we meet our own targets in tandem with improving the urban realm, but also save precious council resource in the process. Not too long ago we’d carry out regular waste collection ‘milk rounds’, regardless of whether the bins needed emptying or not, simply because we had a schedule to adhere to. These days, we’re notified when collections need to be made and can clearly see when bins don’t need emptying just by looking at a smart device or office computer. Whilst Rugby is known for inventing the sport, it’s also famous for technological advancement such as inventing the jet engine and developing the hologram. Now, through Bigbelly, we can say that we’re one of the first council’s in the UK to apply technology in order to improve the effectiveness of our waste collection.”
Sean Lawson, Head of Environment and Public Realm at Rugby Borough Council