Two English councils have announced plans to part ways with Veolia once their waste and recycling collection contracts with the business expire.
Rushmoor borough council and East Cambridgeshire district council revealed last week that will not renew their contracts with Veolia when they end in July 2017 and April 2018 respectively.
Instead, Serco will take up waste collections and street cleansing in Rushmoor, Hampshire at an estimated value of £38 million over an initial 10-year period, with an option to extend to 2037.
And, East Cambridgeshire councillors have voted to ‘take back control’ of collections by bringing the service in-house via a new arm’s-length organisation East Cambridgeshire Trading Company (ECTC).
Rushmoor council’s decision to award its collections to Serco ends a 15-year relationship with Veolia, which was renewed in 2008 (see letsrecycle.com story).
As new contractor, Serco will continue to provide collections at the same frequency with weekly collections for refuse and fortnightly collections of commingled recyclables and separate glass.
Serco will adopt some new measures, including kerbside collections of small waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) and launching a smartphone app for residents to report flytipping.
The waste business also plans to reduce carbon emissions from waste vehicles by 30% through hybrid-biofuel technology and partner with the Trussell Trust charity for recycling of furniture.
All 100 staff currently employed by Veolia will have the opportunity to transfer to Serco.
Robin Davies, Serco’s business development director for environmental services, said: “We’re excited about working in partnership with the council to put our plans into action, drawing on our experience delivering a broad range of environmental services right across the UK.”
Councillor Martin Tennant, Rushmoor borough council’s cabinet member for environment and Service Delivery, added: “From listening to our residents, we know that a weekly rubbish collection is very important to them. So we are really pleased that as part of the new contract, these will continue, as well as many other exciting improvements, at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”
East Cambridgeshire district council has meanwhile approved a proposal to move its waste collections and street cleaning back in-house via ECTC.
The council claims that as well as saving money on the contract, the Teckal-exempt company also removes the cost of the required EU procurement process for tendering for a new service delivery provider – an additional saving of around £250,000.
The next 12 months will form a handover period where all staff from Veolia will be transferred across to the Trading Company through TUPE.
Councillor Julia Huffer, waste champion for East Cambridgeshire district council said: “We have spent a lot of time looking at options beyond the end of Veolia’s contract. We believe that direct provision of services is definitely the way ahead. It will give us greater control over services and flexibility to make future improvements. We will no longer be paying a contractor’s profit margin and will be able to reinvest savings to provide better services for local residents.”