Staffordshire county council has approved the ‘urgent’ appointment of Amey to take over the running of its 14 household waste recycling centres, after current contractor FCC Environment suddenly decided to leave the contract ‘for commercial reasons’.
Waste management firm FCC won the seven year contract to manage Staffordshire’s 14 HWRCs in August 2013, with the option to extend up to 15 years (see letsrecycle.com story)
But, the local authority confirmed at the end of January that FCC had withdrawn from this arrangement, meaning that services company Amey will be taking over the day-to-day running of the sites at the end of March.
The council said that it “was formally jointly agreed to terminate the contract at the beginning of January 2020”, and that the contract with Amey “will be for the minimum period reasonably necessary to allow the county council to consider all of the procurement options but will be for a maximum of two years”.
Mark Deaville, Staffordshire county council’s cabinet member for commercial, said: “FCC wished, for business reasons, to leave the contract managing the household waste recycling centres.
“The authority has appointed Amey, which already manages and maintains the highways in Staffordshire for the county council, to run the 14 sites across the county to ensure there is no interruption in service to the public and which will provide time for the county council to consider all of the procurement options.”
The council explained that the work had been awarded “without prior publication of a call for competition” due to “extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable for the contracting authority”.
The interim contract with Amey lasts for one year with the option of a one year extension, which the council said was the minimum period necessary to allow it to conduct a full procurement process.
The council explained: “Staffordshire county council’s 14 household waste recycling centres are heavily used; the public makes 30 000 visits a week while 65,000 tonnes of waste and recycling are processed there each year.
“It is imperative, to ensure continuity of services”
“The services are a statutory requirement and any interruption to their delivery would be a matter of great concern with adverse consequences for the general public. The incumbent contractor has requested to leave the current contract as soon as possible and the county council has agreed.”
The council added: “However, it is imperative, to ensure continuity of services, that the contract is awarded to an alternative contractor without delay.”
When contacted by letsrecycle.com, FCC declined to provide further information on why the contract was terminated, except that “the decision was taken for commercial reasons.”
During its time managing Staffordshire’s HWRCs, FCC has introduced re-use shops and expanded the opening hours of most sites and the number of materials accepted. When awarded, the contract was expected to save the council £240,000 a year.