Services firm Urbaser has been awarded a nine-year waste and recycling collection services contract by Welwyn Hatfield borough council worth £4.5 million per year.
The contract is the latest award for Urbaser in a matter of months, following contract wins from Dartford and Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling councils.
Under the terms of the deal, which begins when the council’s existing contract with Serco expires in April 2020, Urbaser will “work closely with the council to introduce a number of service improvements”.
This will include introducing weekly food waste collections, and a weekly collection of small electrical items, textiles and household batteries.
Existing staff employed by Serco will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the new contractors at the commencement of the new deal.
In the meantime, the council reassured residents that there will be no changes to collections until Urbaser “review the rounds” once they are running the service next year.
The council, which is part of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, achieved a 43.8% recycling rate in 2017/18 , down from 53% the year before.
Currently, residents have one general waste bin and another commingled recycling bin for glass, tins and cans, plastic, paper and cartons.
Commenting on the new contracts, Ka Ng, corporate director at Welwyn Hatfield borough council, said: “We’re really pleased to put new contracts in place that deliver value for money and better services for our residents. We know people want to recycle as much as they can and we’re positive the borough’s recycling rate will increase as we give residents more opportunities to do so.
“We’ll be working closely with Serco over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and I would like thank them for their many years of hard work in the borough.”
Urbaser describes itself a one of the largest environmental service providers in Europe and works with many UK local authorities across the UK including Bournemouth, East and North Herts, Gosport borough council, Waltham Forest council and Burnley borough council.
The council said that bidders were evaluated on a range of criteria, overseen by a cross-party procurement board and independent environmental consultancy, Eunomia.
Javier Peiro, managing director of Urbaser, added: “We are delighted to be awarded this contract and we look forward to working with Welwyn Hatfield borough council to deliver these vital services to residents and service users. We are committed to enhancing the existing services to help achieve increased recycling rates whilst improving street cleanliness and implementing innovative solutions to reduce littering.”
In a comment to letsrecycle.com, Mark Sturgeon, Serco’s regional contracts director, said: “We are disappointed not to have been selected as Welwyn Hatfield borough council’s future service partner for waste, street cleaning and grounds maintenance services. We would like to reassure residents that we are committed to continuing to provide a high quality service level until the contract transfers in April 2020.”