20 November 2020 by James Langley

Changes to Cornish collections delayed

Plans to introduce weekly food waste collection and fortnightly waste and recycling collection services in Cornwall have been delayed by almost a year.

Cornwall council agreed a new eight-year contract with Biffa to provide waste collection and street cleansing services across the county in January (see letsrecycle.com story).

Councillor Rob Nolan pictured with one of Cornwall council’s new recycling lorries (picture: Cornwall council)

Though initially due to begin on 3 October 2020, the new contract will now start on 1 February 2021.

And, while the transition to a new collection service was meant to be implemented in phases across Cornwall from the summer of 2021, the council says the changes will not take place “until the following year”.

This, the council says, allows time to make changes to the transfer stations where the food waste and recycling is delivered. A spokesperson for Cornwall council told letsrecycle.com that work on new waste transfer stations is at the planning stage.

Councillor Rob Nolan, portfolio holder for environment and public protection at Cornwall council, said: “The changes to collections won’t happen straight away and a lot of work is being done to ensure everyone is prepared.

“Most top performing local authorities in the UK already operate a weekly food waste and fortnightly rubbish collection and we are confident this planned change will significantly improve recycling rates in Cornwall.”


As part of the contract, a fleet of new road sweepers, rubbish and recycling lorries have been rolled out across Cornwall.

“We are confident this planned change will significantly improve recycling rates in Cornwall”

Councillor Rob Nolan

The council says the new vehicles are more environmentally friendly than its existing fleet and include the “latest vehicle technology”. Some arrived last month and are already in operation.

All the vehicles comply with Euro 6 standards, the council says, which are the latest regulations set by the European Union to help reduce the level of harmful pollutants produced by new vehicles.

Cllr Nolan said: “It’s great to see the new fleet being rolled out across Cornwall and we’re delighted to be working with Biffa for another eight years.”

Roger Edwards, managing director of Biffa’s municipal division, said: “We are delighted to continue our working partnership with Cornwall council. Our aim is to continue to develop and provide new services for everyone in the county and the introduction of the new vehicle fleet, along with the latest technology, will support our plans.”


The new contract was formally signed in the week beginning 2 November. Biffa was the incumbent contractor following its 2016 acquisition of Cory Environmental Municipal Services, which had held the contract since 2011.

Most homes across Cornwall will be provided with seven litre food caddies for use in the kitchen, 23 litre food storage caddies for storing food waste outside, and 180 litre wheeled bins or alternative reusable protective sacks for waste, dependant on storage and access requirements, the council says.

With a population of more than 568,000, Cornwall had a recycling rate of 38.1% in 2018/19.


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