3 May 2013

Watford outsources waste collections for first time

Waste and recycling collections in Watford are to be outsourced for the first time after the borough council awarded Veolia Environmental Services a 35 million contract.

Under the seven year deal, Veolia ES will be responsible for waste and recycling collections, street cleansing and grounds maintenance services. The service, which commences on July 1 2013, will also see Veolia take on the councils commercial waste portfolio, which comprises of over 840 local customers, as well as operating a call centre for resident contact regarding recycling, refuse collection and street cleansing issues.

Watford has outsourced its waste and recycling collections for the first time

Watford has outsourced its waste and recycling collections for the first time

There will be no changes to the service when the contract comes into force; however a spokesman for Veolia said there may be changes to collections near the end of the year but no further details can be released at present.

Residents currently receive a weekly refuse collection and a fortnightly collection of recyclables. The recyclables are collected at the kerbside in three boxes with paper in one, glass in another and cans and plastic in the final one. Mixed organic waste garden and food is collected in fortnightly in a green wheeled bin and sent for composting by West London Composting.

At present, the collections are undertaken by an in-house team but by outsourcing them the council hopes to save 730,000 a year on service costs. It forms part of the councils corporate plan 2011-14 in which it looked to identify over 5 million in savings by 2015.

Controversial decision

Commenting on the contract, Pascal Hauret, Veolias regional director for Greater London, said: We are extremely pleased to win this important contract and are looking forward to working in partnership with Watford borough council to deliver high quality services that improve the living environment for all the boroughs residents.

Dorothy Thornhill, Elected Mayor of Watford added: Outsourcing was a controversial decision for the council to make, but we were impressed throughout by Veolia’s professionalism and the high standards they work to. They have shown they engage well with the public and are committed to looking out for our staff.

The contract win further strengthens Veolias portfolio in the South East and London, including contracts in Lambeth, Richmond, Bromley, Croydon and Kingston.
Yesterday (May 2) Kingston announced a 43% rise in its plastics recycling rate through its work with Veolia to extend the number of materials collected at the kerbside (see letsrecycle.com story).

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