23 December 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Liability changes as Serco wins Derbyshire Dales

Services giant Serco has been awarded an eight-year contract worth £3.1 million per annum to continue to provide waste and recycling collection services to Derbyshire Dales district council.

Serco has provided the waste and recycling collection service for the borough since 2012

A report which was approved by the council last week (19 December), explained that the current waste contract costs approximately £2.1m per year, which Serco was awarded in 2011 (see letsrecycle.com story).

However the report said this “was procured at a time when the market was much more buoyant than it is currently, especially with regard to the disposal of recyclable materials”.

Also, the council heard that none of the potential bidders were willing to accept the present liability arrangements (100% is with the contractor), so the council approved a 70/30 split in terms risk share, with Derbyshire Dales accepting 70% of the liabilities under the new arrangement.

Costs

When procuring the contract in March, Derbyshire Dales said it would consider proposals to switch to a three-weekly collection system for residual waste under the new deal to cost concerns.

However, the contract will instead see a £50 per year charge introduced for garden waste and a fortnightly residual waste collection maintained.

Local councils do not have a legal responsibility to collect garden waste, but until April 2021 the service will continue to be free of charge for all 34,000 households in the Derbyshire Dales.

‘Continuation’

Commenting after the contract was awarded, independent councillor Colin Swindell said: “We have to look at this positively. I was sceptical at first but I have changed my mind because I think this is a good thing. The system isn’t changing – we are just introducing a charge for green waste, so it’s a continuation of what we’ve got rather than the problems we had in 2012 which resulted from a huge change.”

The existing service provision of fortnightly dry recyclable and residual collections will continue, along with a weekly food waste service.

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