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Executive Summary

These Guidance Principles provide practical advice and tools to use when procuring waste management and recycling services.  The emphasis is on local government contracts because of the major role councils play in waste management in New Zealand, but businesses and industry may find some of the principles useful when procuring their waste and recycling services.

The principles look at achieving best practice by providing:

  • advice on incorporating council and community waste minimisation objectives into contracts
  • information on preparing the most suitable contract for your situation
  • assistance in understanding the trade-offs that may have to be allowed for in a contract
  • guidance for the development of the principal-contractor relationship
  • tools for managing contracts effectively.

This document has been structured to follow the chronological order for developing a waste management or recycling contract.  Following the introduction and overview in section 1, section 2 looks at planning.  Before a contract is developed, careful planning is essential to identify the objectives and desired outcomes of the services.  Settling on the appropriate plan is also critical so elected members and company management can make informed decisions that will see contracts deliver the desired outcomes.

An essential area of contract development is the scope of services, particularly as a number of significant factors are driving change in the way the scope of services should be specified in a contract.  These factors include:

  • higher levels of service expected by the community
  • higher-profile health and safety standards
  • trends towards user pays
  • increased choice of receptacle (single stream vs. mixed collection)
  • the quality of recyclable material collected
  • stabilisation of the volume of recyclable material, creating a need to encourage further yield
  • an increasing range of recyclable products available for collection
  • licensing of contractors
  • an increasing demand for materials by onshore processors
  • waste management plans, the New Zealand Waste Strategy and national policy on product stewardship.

Considerations and options for collection systems are outlined in detail in section 3 to help you decide on the best system for your situation.  Recommendations are also provided on the length of contract term, and we look at the advantages and disadvantages of longer-term and shorter-term contracts, and at core elements of service specification and key performance indicators.  Section 4 covers health and safety, education and communication, and licensing.  Tender evaluation procedures are covered in section 5, and an example of a tender evaluation plan is given in Appendix 2.

Section 6 provides recommendations on the form a contract should take, and the Guidance Principles conclude with advice on ongoing contract management, focusing on reporting, audits and performance review.

The flowcharts in Appendix 2 outline common decision processes that can be followed, although we recognise that each procurement situation is unique and that there is no single best solution.  There are a number of reference boxes throughout the document so you can pursue further research into topics of interest.