Its a new year and a new placement for me as I have now begun my time in a new location with the procurement team in the highway and municipal department.
My previous placement was in the adult, health and well-being department, and while all of Gwynedd Council’s departments work to put the people of Gwynedd at the centre of everything we do, there are, of course, significant differences between the provision care service and road maintenance or waste collection and recycling.
This needs to kept in mind when procuring – while the same procurement aims of obtaining value for money and keeping the benefit locally are consistent throughout the Council, there are also different factors to be considered in specific departments and services – while there was a need to consider the well-being of the service user in the adult, health and well-being department, more goods and works are bought in the highways and municipal department, therefore more technical and engineering knowledge is needed.
As with each placement, I have been busy in the initial phase learning and seeing what departmental services are, what is being acquired and what the services are.
Gwynedd is a cutting edge county in terms of recycling, therefore Caergylchu is a crucial and extremely busy location! You may have visited the section that is open to the public to bring recycling themselves such as cardboard or wood, but here at Caergylchu in Cibyn, all of your domestic recycling that has been collected comes to be sorted. I had the opportunity to view the process of sorting the recycling after the lorries brought loads in, with conveyer belts transporting the recycling from one part to the other, the magnetic machine that sorts the plastic, steel and aluminium, the staff that sort the different types of plastic, and the machines that compress the sorted recycling into bales.
Of course, all the machinery for this process have to be procured and having the opportunity to see what are the specific needs are crucial to ensure that we buy the right equipment. An example of this is that there is a need for different ‘forklift’ machines for different parts of the process – some of a bigger size to load the litter to the lorries, certain ones to lift the compressed recycled bales, and some that can adjust their height to go to different locations in the site.
THE DEPOT IN CIBYN
The depot at Cibyn is a central point for the department’s services in the Arfon area (there are separate depots in the Dwyfor and Meirionnydd areas) – I had the opportunity to go around the depot, understand what it what, who’s who and what services are run from here, such as the gritting trucks, the garage that repairs the council’s vehicles and lorries, the highways’ fleet.