11 July 2018 by Joshua Doherty

Procurement begins for Cornwall collections contract

Cornwall council has begun the procurement process for a new 10 year waste management contract worth £20 million a year.

The contract will begin in April 2020, following the termination of the current contract, held by Biffa, for waste and recycling collection, street and beach cleansing services, in March 2020.

Cornwall council has begun the procurement process for a new waste collections contractor

The contract will be an initial eight year deal, with an option for a further two years, meaning the overall contract could be worth £200 million. A final decision will made in December.


Currently, the Biffa contract involves a fortnightly collection of recycling, which is split into five bins of glass, paper, plastic, cards and cans. Residual black bag waste is collected weekly.

Biffa took on the work after acquiring Cory’s collection division which originally held the contract.

Under the new contract, the council will decide in December “based on affordability” whether to retain the current collection dates or move to a weekly recycling collection with a fortnightly residual waste collection.

Food waste

The council recommended that for residual waste, householders are issued with a 180 litre wheelie bin or “seagull proof sack for waste”, depending on what will work best for the household and the collection service.

The council also recommended the introduction of two food waste bins, one for inside the house and one for outside. However, the Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee warned that any contract has to be “sufficiently adaptable to accommodate future changes in recycling”.

This means that householders in Cornwall could have around 7 bins with the introduction of two new food waste bins.

It’s also understood that Cornwall has struck a deal to collect drink cartons, which will be processed at a site owned by ACE UK in Stainland, near Halifax.

£4 million

It is estimated that around 71% of Cornwall’s 250,000 domestic households could be issued with a wheelie bin, with the remaining 29% being able to use a seagull proof sack or communal waste bin. The cost of issuing households with new bins is estimated at around £4 million.

“This is one of the biggest waste collection contracts in the country and it’s important that we get it right when going to the contractors.” 

Sue James
Cornwall Council

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection, explained that the new deal has to work for everyone.

“This is one of the biggest waste collection contracts in the country and it’s important that we get it right when going to the contractors,” she explained.

Cllr James added: “The contractors will need to know what we think will work in Cornwall, but equally we’ve got to listen to the industry.”


Separately, on the residual waste side, Cornwall county council entered into a long-term Integrated Waste Management Contract with Cornwall Energy Recovery Ltd in 2006. This contract, which is delivered by Suez UK, will run until 2039. It includes the management of all Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in Cornwall, as well as the management of the two Materials Recovery Facilities (Pool and Bodmin).


I see Cornwall are thinking of using 180ltr bins as part of their new contract, as somebody who has been involved n refuse collection & bin wagons for over 35 years I would say do not use this size bin.
These are the worst size of bin to empty, householders over fill them meaning they are subject to violent shaking to dislodge the refuse & as they narrow they continually fall over in the slightest of wind. I would suggest you ask current users of this size of bin before you condemn your collection crews to years of aggravation.

Posted by Roland Taylor on July 11, 2018

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