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Allerdale Executive agrees new contract for waste collection and street-scene services

Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive agreed the procurement of its major contracts for waste and recycling collection, street cleansing, grounds maintenance and the processing of recyclable material at its meeting today [17 October 2018].

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

The 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.

The current services have remained popular with residents with respondents to the council’s residents survey, consistently rating them as the most important service to them. Over the last few surveys some 93% of residents have consistently said they are satisfied with the waste collection service provided by the council, with 78% of residents being satisfied with doorstep recycling.

The Executive agreed to award the contract to the recommended company for the waste collection service. This means:

  • 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 fortnightly as currently. 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, 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 also agreed the street cleansing and grounds maintenance contract. This covers everything from grounds maintenance, litter picking and collecting fly-tipping.

More than 70% of residents are satisfied with the condition of parks and open spaces in their local area. The new contract is designed to further improve the grounds maintenance services the council provides as well as address any concerns residents in some areas may have regarding litter.

The new contract 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 new contract integrates the two, so that the teams will not only carry out grounds maintenance duties, but also litter picking and other street cleansing services at the same time. This should bring 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.

Alan Smith, Leader of Allerdale Borough Council, speaking at the meeting said: “It has taken a good eighteen months to get to where we are today and I’d like to thank everyone for all the hard work.

“Our current services are extremely popular with residents and we have high levels of satisfaction. These contracts maintain this gold plated service such as weekly bin collections but bring added benefits including a more integrated and flexible street cleaning service, financial savings to the council, and better wages for those doing the work.”

Michael Heaslip, Executive member with responsibility for environmental quality, added: “This whole process has taken time but we needed to get it right and through our modelling and benchmarking we’ve achieved that.

“The procurement process has been shadowed by the scrutiny committee to ensure it was robust, proper and complies with our procedures and costing just 1% of the contract price, the process has been extremely good value.

“There are many benefits to the new contracts, not least the retention of a weekly bin collection, but also the ending of the single-use purple bags. We’ve maintained a set of services which are hugely popular with local residents and added extra benefits, including our ability to really drive performance even higher.”

The Executive also agreed 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. This means:

  • 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 council is also saving money with the new contracts. The total cost of delivering the new contracts will be £44.6m over the initial eight-year period, equating to an estimated saving of £4.9m over the current contract, when inflation and other changes are taken into account.

The new contracts begin on 1 April 2019 and so there will be no immediate changes to collections. Residents will be contacted nearer the time of the change with more details.

Running for an initial eight-year period, the contracts have an option to extend for a further eight years. The current contracts have been in place for 15 years.

The procurement process has gone through a rigorous 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.

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