Cheshire East council has established its own waste management firm for household and commercial waste collections, which it hopes will also compete for collection contracts from other local authorities.
The company is one of the first in the waste management sector to be established as a Teckal exempt firm, meaning that bidding process for any public contracts would be simpler as it has no private sector ownership.
Ansa, which is wholly-owned and funded by the council, will initially manage kerbside waste and recycling collection services for Cheshire Easts 165,000 households and will also seek to secure commercial waste contracts in the future.
The company will also assume responsibility of fleet management, maintaining the councils refuse collection vehicles, skips wagons and road sweepers. An estimated 400 staff have transferred to the new firm from the council under TUPE regulations.
Due to its Teckal status, other public bodies would be able to award contracts directly to the company without the need for a lengthy procurement process. This is expected to form the main target market for the firm.
Cheshire East hopes that Ansa will deliver major efficiency savings of around 2.5 million, or 10% of its current budget over the next five years, while creating new income streams to the council worth an additional 2.5%.
Council leader Michael Jones explained the launch of Ansa was the first phase of the councils larger strategy to establish businesses and trusts covering responsibility for public transport, leisure and land and property estate in the borough.
‘Were taking the financial challenge head-on. Were working with trade unions and staff to provide a new way of running a council, unleashing innovation and entrepreneurialism, managing costs and improving our offer to customers and service users.’
– Michael Jones, Cheshire East council leader
He said: Were taking the financial challenge head-on. Were working with trade unions and staff to provide a new way of running a council, unleashing innovation and entrepreneurialism, managing costs and improving our offer to customers and service users.
In future, no two councils will look exactly the same and seeking out new, innovative ways of providing services is now an essential feature of local government.
He added: Rather than moan and complain about budgets going down, councils need to innovate. This is certainly our view as we embark on our Cheshire East revolution putting residents first.
Through Ansa, the council hopes to introduce commercial waste collections for the boroughs businesses, as well as opening its waste transfer stations to commercial enterprises.
As part of its work for Cheshire East, the company will operate kerbside collections of commingled dry recycling and residual waste on an alternate fortnightly basis on behalf of the authority, with optional collections of green waste also available.
Dry recyclables will continue to be sent to UPMs Shotton-based materials recycling facility, while residual waste will be sent to landfill sites near Crewe and Macclesfield.
In total, Ansa will be expected to collect 70,000 tonnes of residual waste and a combined 80,000 tonnes of garden waste and recyclables from the kerbside while maintaining the unitary councils overall 2012/13 recycling rate of just under 54%.
Cheshire East has also established Orbitas, with a similar structure to Ansa, which will run the local authoritys bereavement services.