Dover and Folkestone & Hythe district councils have this month begun a joint procurement process for an eight-year collections contract, which has been valued at an estimated £56 million.
The new contract for the two councils is to begin in January 2021, when their current joint arrangement with Veolia – which was signed in 2010 – comes to an end.
The estimated price for the latest procurement works out at £7 million per annum, double the current £3.5m value of the Veolia contract. According to a procurement report for Folkestone & Hythe district council, Veolia had previously advised that the contract was “loss-making”.
The report to the council earlier this year said that “the contracted service [with Veolia] has worked well since it began”.
This included meeting key performance indicators for missed bins and load contamination, as well as “forming a constructive working relationship”.
The same report explained that Dover district council had considered the possibility of moving in-house through a local authority trading company , but later decided against this.
The award criteria of the contract will be split between a 60% weighting for quality and 40% for price.
Veolia’s work in East Kent also includes recyclables processing for Thanet district council and Canterbury city council active from 2013.
However, Fokestone & Hythe said that “whilst the East Kent Districts continue to work together and share a common service methodology, there are separate contractual arrangements”.
Canterbury’s contract for waste collection and street cleansing was awarded to Serco in April 2013 and has an end date of 31st March 2021, which was intended to closely align with the DDC/ FHDC contract, whilst Thanet District Council continue to run an in house service.
Existing arrangements of having a fortnightly collection of four recycling bins split between paper and card, food waste, garden waste and glass, tin foil and Tetra Pak are set to remain in place in Dover and Folkestone.
The two authorities have a combined population of around 230,000, with Folkestone and Hythe recording a 45.3% recycling rate in 2017/18, while Dover reached 47.3%.
The two councils are in the Kent Resource Partnership, along with 11 other councils, which all hold separate collection contracts.
Kent county council is the waste disposal authority, with non-recyclable waste sent for energy recovery at FCC’s Allington Quarry plant in Maidstone.
Recyclable material from both councils is sent to Veolia’s MRF in Rainham.