Biffa wins Milton Keynes food and garden waste contract

Biffa has been awarded a contract for the transfer and treatment of Milton Keynes council’s food and garden waste at a value of £10.3 million.

Milton Keynes collects commingled food and garden waste from kerbside on a weekly basis

The contract involves the transfer and treatment of food and garden waste resulting from the weekly kerbside collection service deposited by the council’s waste collection contractor. Under the award, Biffa will start work on 1 April 2023 with the waste taken to in-vessel composting facilities.


Under the contract, Biffa is also set to recover any outputs and dispose of any residues from the treatment. This shall include “the procurement of the end markets and onward haulage.

Under the terms of the Milton Keynes award, Biffa is to arrange for regular collections of the council’s food and garden waste from the authority waste transfer station in Old Wolverton. The material is then to be delivered to the contractor’s “own waste treatment facility for treatment through a biological process to produce a compost, digestate or compost like output”.

Ownership of the authority’s material will transfer to the contractor once it has been collected from the council’s waste transfer station.

A contract award notice said that a 25% proportion of the contract is likely to be subcontracted to third parties, this being the bulk haulage of material from Milton Keynes transfer station to Biffa in-vessel composting facilities. The value of this, excluding VAT, amounts to about £2.6 million.

The contract is set to last for an initial period of three years, with an extension provision of up to another three years with 12-month intervals. Serco currently holds the Milton Keynes organics contract.

The award comes against the background of a long-awaited government response on consistency in household recycling, which could mandate all local authorities in England to collect food waste separately, although there has been lobbying against this.

Colllection changes

Milton Keynes council also has plans to switch to wheeled bins for rubbish and recycling instead of the single use sacks it uses currently from September. The changes will see residents receive three new bins, with a black one for residual waste to be collected weekly, red-lidded bin for paper and card and a blue-lidded bin for plastic, metal and glass. The latter two will be collected on an alternate weekly basis.

The wheeled bins are made in Rotherham, with the main body of all the new bins and the black lids made from 100% recycled HDPE sourced in the UK, the council added.

The council explained that it is making these changes to reduce the plastic waste from the single-use sacks as well as improve the quality of collected recycling by separating more. The wheeled bins are also planned to help increase safety when handling and cleanliness due to less split bags. The decision to switch was also backed up by 76% of responding residents in a public consultation (see letsrecycle.com story).

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