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Executive to consider new contract for waste collection and street scene services

Rebecca Wilkinson

Oct. 10, 2018

Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive is due to consider the procurement of its major contract for waste and recycling collection, street cleansing, grounds maintenance and the processing of recyclable material in its next meeting on 17 October 2018. 

The contracts between them currently account for some 40% of the council’s revenue budget, or £5.4m a year.  

The recommended new contracts mean that the council will be able to continue offering the popular range of waste and recycling and street cleansing services, but with added benefits for residents and the environment, improvements for the staff, and save the council money.  

If the Executive agrees to award the contract to the recommended company for the waste collection service it would mean:  

  • The continuation of the popular weekly bin collections for residual/domestic waste 
  • Recyclable glass, cans and plastics to continue being collected fortnightly but using a 120-litre bin, rather than the single-use purple bag 
  • Paper and card collected in a 240-litre bin every four weeks, rather than the current two weeks. The larger bin means residents continue to have the same amount of capacity for their paper and card despite the change in collection rates. 
  • Garden waste to continue being collected fortnightly.  

Other benefits to the waste and recycling contract, if they are agreed as recommended, include new low-emission vehicles which not only have in-cab technology so that issues can be reported immediately to back-office and Council staff, but also 360-degree cameras and other technology to improve road safety.  

The Executive is also considering the street cleansing and grounds maintenance contract. This covers everything from grass cutting, flower-bed maintenance to litter picking and collecting fly-tipping. If they decide to go with the recommended tenderer this will mean the following benefits:  

  • An integrated street scene service which means improved service and efficiencies. Currently the street cleaning and grounds maintenance contract is split between two different contracts. The recommended proposal is to integrate the two, so that the teams will not only carry out grass cutting and other grounds maintenance duties, but also litter picking and other street cleansing services at the same time. This should bring with it improvements to the way in which the local environment is cared for and looked after, ensuring that areas open to the public are kept clean, green and well maintained.  
  • Early shift patterns to ensure key areas are cleaned to a high standard by 8am. The proposed shift pattern will also ensure areas are cleaned throughout the day and into the evening at the end of the working and shopping day.  
  • A rapid response team, to tackle street scene issues quickly and efficiently.  

The Council was keen to ensure the local workforce received a decent living wage. Therefore, staff working for the waste and recycling and the street cleansing service will be guaranteed to be paid at least the Foundation Living Wage which is currently at £8.75 per hour.   

The final recommendation is to award the contract to the highest scoring tenderer for the bulking, hauling, sorting and reprocessing of recyclable material such as plastic, glass and paper as well as garden waste. If the 

Executive decide to go with the tenderer recommended this will mean:  

  • Continuation of easy and popular system of recycling through a more environmentally friendly method (not using non-reusable plastic purple bags)
  • Peat free compost produced from the green garden waste collected across Allerdale  
  • Sustainable product outlets, proven over the past 25 years of recycling and transparency in materials pricing 

The recommended contracts would also save the council money over the contract period. The total value of the three contracts recommended for approval would be £44.6m over the initial eight-year period. This would mean an estimated saving of £4.9m over the current contract, taking into account inflation and other changes.  

If agreed, the new contracts would begin on 1 April 2019 and run for an initial eight-year period (with an option to extend for a further eight years). The current contracts have been in place for 15 years. The Executive could also decide to re-procure the contract, or not award it and provide an in-house service.  

The procurement process has gone through a rigorous procurement exercise in accordance with the Council’s financial regulations. The Council’s cross-party Overview and Scrutiny Committee ran a task and finish group to follow the process of letting the contracts and their report was approved on 17 September 2018.  

For commercial confidentiality reasons the names of the companies are not included in the report.