Acumen Partner with Leeds City Council to Provide a Two-Fold Treatment and Transfer Service

The operational area covered by Leeds City Council is deceptively large, such that in terms of the number of highways and streets to be maintained and cleaned, it produces some 9,000 tonnes per annum of road sweeper and gully wastes. They operate 6 locality depots across their region, together with a central Waste Transfer Station.  Their requirements are therefore two-fold. Firstly, to transfer skips of road sweeper waste from the locality depots and tip at their own Waste Transfer Station; and secondly to transport and treat the bulked wastes.

In 2016, Acumen was awarded a 3-year contract to carry out these services. The management of the contract is complex, with orders for service being coordinated for a total of 7 locations. Acumen appointed an experienced Key Account Manager to oversee our operations and to liaise with the Council. The key driver for our successful tender bid was the provision of our treatment facility at Escrick, near York as here, we operate an extensive soil treatment facility.

Escrick: The Bespoke Treatment and Transfer Facility

The Escrick plant, which has been operational since 2013, provides the ideal solution for the treatment of road sweeper waste. It operates under a full Permit issued by the Environment Agency and the permit allows for the receipt of up to 250,000 tonnes of waste per annum. It receives a wide range of contaminated soils and is particularly effective in the treatment of road sweeper wastes.

The facility incorporates bespoke technology which wash and break down sweeper wastes into its’ major constituents which are aggregates, sand and organics. In excess of 95% of all incoming wastes are permitted to the adjacent Recovery Park, in stark contrast to the use of disposal via Landfill. Being able to contribute a high rate of recovery/recycling is essential to all Councils.

Although our facility is only 30 miles from the Council’s Waste Transfer Station, it was still important to minimise the tonnage miles used and their potential effect on the environment. To do this, Acumen introduced bulk collections using articulated bulk trailers, these have a net payload of 28 tonnes, compared to a rigid vehicle only having 18 tonnes. Their use has been facilitated through the facility having hard standing throughout and storage bays with a capacity in excess of 6,000 tonnes. The vehicles are able to safely tip because of the hard standing – something which would not be permitted at Landfills.

Ongoing Management of the Service Operation

Focussed Account Management is essential for the smooth running of the contract, liaising with the Council’s operational and management teams, the treatment facility, the skip haulier and the bulk haulier. Regular review meetings are held with the Council officers, together with Duty of Care Visits to the facility to assure compliance. Acumen produce bespoke reports for the Council, detailing tonnages received and subsequent outputs, which are required to be included in their statutory Waste Data Flow reports.

As the end of the contract was approaching, Leeds City Council fully reviewed the service provision to date and have consequently extended for a further 2 years – the maximum that is permissible for a local authority for this type of contract.

For more information about Treatment and Transfer, any other services or to discuss a potential project, please get in touch today on 01977 529586 or email