9 January 2020 by James Langley

Watford to renew Veolia contract

Watford borough council is renewing its contract with Veolia UK to deliver recycling and waste collections, street cleaning and park maintenance services for a further eight years.

Starting from July 2020, the new contract will continue a partnership which began in 2013 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Veolia has provided Watford with waste management services since 2013

Peter Taylor, the elected mayor of Watford, said: “The council has had a very positive partnership with Veolia over the last six years, which has achieved a lot for Watford including improved recycling rates and 12 green flag parks – the most in Hertfordshire.

“The services Veolia provide for the council are extremely important to Watford residents and I am pleased that Cabinet has agreed to renew our contract with them.”

The value of the contract is not being released until it is formally signed, but the original contract was worth £35 million. It ran for seven years with the option to extend for a further eight.

According to a council estimate from mid-2018, the current population of Watford is 96,800, with a population density of around 4,500 people per square kilometre.

The borough currently has a combined recycling rate of 45.1% according to Defra figures for the 2018/19 financial year.


The new agreement sees several proposed service changes.

“The services Veolia provide for the council are extremely important to Watford residents”

Peter Taylor

These include the introduction of a weekly collection of food waste, with all houses taking delivery of a new 23 litre outdoor brown bin.

Household refuse collections will also move from weekly to fortnightly.

Watford borough council’s cabinet also approved the move to a chargeable sign-up service for garden waste, which from July will see only those residents who use green bins to dispose of their garden waste pay for the service.

Watford explained that under the current system many residents – such as those in flats or homes without gardens – currently pay but do not use it, as the service is subsidised by council tax.

The cost of the new service will be £45 per green bin per year, reduced to £40 if people sign up via Direct Debit and further reduced to £35 for those receiving council-related benefits.


Mr Taylor said: “We know that we are facing a real climate emergency and we need to do what we can to make a difference at the same time as having a 70% reduction in our funding from central government.

The current population of Watford is 96,800

“I am committed to making Watford a more sustainable town, whether by cutting down the number of journeys we need to do in our cars or reducing the environmental impact of the waste we throw away.

“These changes offer greater opportunities for residents to recycle and are in line with many other local authorities across Hertfordshire and the rest of the country.”


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