Sefton is a mainly urban area on the edge of the City of Liverpool, consisting of the main population centres of Bootle, Southport, Aintree, Crosby and Maghull. During the year 2006 the council had a requirement to improve its refuse collection system to meet the targets set by central government for recycling and diversion from landfill. The Council therefore sent out a competitive tender for 106,000 240 litre anthracite grey bins and 106,000 standard green bins. All bins were equipped with “Read Only” chips to enable the exact monitoring of refuse quantities. The tender also specified that both types of bin should be delivered and distributed to the individual houses and the chips scanned, over a period of approximately 18 months.

City of Sefton

Country: Great Britain
Municipality: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
Population 300,000
Contact: Mr. Jim Black


waste container

The aim of the system was as follows:

  • To achieve or exceed the statutory recycling targets.
  • To achieve or exceed statutory diversion from landfill targets.
  • To satisfy Health and Safety requirements
  • To provide a service which offered good value for money.

This was to be achieved by the separate collection of residual waste and garden / compostable waste using the wheeled bins, with mixed dry recyclable waste being collected by a different system.

Recommendations / Technical Advice

Although the specification of the bins was laid down in the tender documents (including printing of the council’s name and logo on the body and the relevant waste fraction on the lid) detailed advice was given concerning the method of distributing and storage of the bins as well as the implementation of the electronic chips. Also advice was given concerning the use of virgin polymer in the bins, as opposed to post consumer recycled material. This advice was given prior to the procurement process and this was, therefore, included in the specification incorporated in the tender documents. During the installation of the bins the SSI Schäfer contract management continually monitored the conduct of the operation to ensure its effective completion.


Following the award of the contract to SSI Schäfer the bins were delivered and distributed (one of each colour simultaneously) to each household, and the transponders were scanned, between June 2007 and September 2008. The whole process was planned, coordinated and managed by SSI Schaefer who maintained constant contact with the officers of the council. This process involved giving advice on the storage space required for the distribution process, coordinating the activities of the distributors and the suppliers of the RFID chips and system software to enable the creation of Sefton Council’s database of distributed grey and green bins. As soon as this distribution was complete the bins were filled by the residents, with the grey bin being used for residual waste and the green bin for garden and compostable waste. As soon as each area was complete the bins were then emptied with each colour being emptied on alternate weeks. The residual waste in the grey bins was then taken for disposal and the garden / compostable waste was taken to the composting facility. The exact quantities of each fraction can now be accurately monitored using the electronic chip system.


The results have been impressive. Not only were the bins supplied and installed in accordance with the specified schedule, but during the first year of operation residual waste was reduced by approximately 1500 tonnes per month and the green / compostable waste increased by approximately 1000 tonnes per month (in season).

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SSI SCHAEFER waste technology in practice
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