3 April 2017 by Will Date

Veolia takes over South London’s waste services

Veolia starts today (April 3) on a contract to manage waste and recycling services on behalf of four South London boroughs – worth around £209 million over its eight year lifespan.

Joint South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) contract, which has an option for a further two eight-year extensions, will see Veolia run waste services in Sutton and Merton – which had been carried out in-house – as well as furthering existing links with Kingston and Croydon councils.

South London

Veolia will deliver a ‘harmonised’ recycling and waste service across the four South London boroughs of Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston

330 staff have ‘TUPE’ transferred over to Veolia’s employment from Merton and Sutton councils as a result of the contract.

Veolia will manage recycling and waste collections, street cleansing, commercial waste, recyclate material sales, winter maintenance and vehicle management for around one million residents over the four London boroughs.

As part of the contract, Veolia is working to deliver a consistent service across all four of the boroughs by 2019.


Changes are being delivered to the collection regime in Sutton from today, whilst Merton and Croydon will switch over to the same service in Merton and Croydon in October 2018 and Kingston in April 2019.

This will see the introduction of separate weekly food waste collection, alternate weekly collections of twin-stream dry recyclables, with paper and card collected one week and tins, plastics and glass the next, and a fortnightly collection for refuse.

“Through the Partnership, we have the opportunity to harmonise services across the four London boroughs to deliver significant cost savings and high quality, reliable services that will boost sustainability and preserve resources.”

Estelle Brachlianoff

A separate ‘lot’ under the contract for parks, grounds and cemeteries maintenance services for Merton and Sutton – worth £26 million, has also been awarded to the landscaping firm idverde.


Councillor Phil Doyle, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee said: “These new contracts will deliver high quality services and save tens of millions of pounds – well in excess of the £30m savings target that was set. Working together, the four boroughs have negotiated excellent deals with two commercial partners who bring huge experience and expertise to the table.

“When we started out on this procurement in 2015, there were some who doubted we would ever get to this point.  Recycling and rubbish collection in particular is such a sensitive and difficult service to be re-designing.  Doing this across four London boroughs, with three different political parties in power, was seen by some as too difficult.

“But the four boroughs of the South London Waste Partnership have once again worked together in an effective and business-like manner.  This sort of cross-party, cross-boundary working is going to have to become the norm if we are to achieve the more harmonised approach to waste collections that regional and national government are advocating.  The South London Waste Partnership has shown that it can be done.”


Veolia was named as the preferred bidder for the contract in May 2016, having seen off rival bids from Amey and Biffa, following a long term procurement process by the SLWP (see letsrecycle.com).

Veolia has taken over the running of waste services in two of the South London boroughs, as well as extending its existing ties with two others

Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice president, Veolia UK and Ireland said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract with the South London Waste Partnership and to continue working with existing clients in Kingston and Croydon as well as beginning new relationships with Merton and Sutton.

“Through the Partnership, we have the opportunity to harmonise services across the four London boroughs to deliver significant cost savings and high quality, reliable services that will boost sustainability and preserve resources.  As winners of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year, we look forward to the opportunity to put Veolia at the heart of these communities in south London and to support a more sustainable future for everyone.”


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