Wheelie bins: Calderdale Council's household waste and recycling contact for the district to be offered to French-based public utility company
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Of four options examined by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet for the service going ahead, they agreed to instruct officers to start negotiating with operator Suez to extend the contract by two years.
The current deal runs out on July 31, 2024, but uncertainty, particularly with Government potentially introducing legislative changes – such as a bottle deposit return scheme – would likely impact new contracts.
Extending the contract will also allow other options to be more fully explored, senior councillors heard.
These included putting the contract out to tender, taking the service in-house or looking to run the service with a partner, said Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Jenny Lynn.
“For a number of reasons it is considered that the marketplace volatility does not lend itself to us going to get a deal, in terms of going out to the market,” she said.
Coun Lynn said there had been issues, particularly at the height of Covid with missed collections, increasing numbers of people working from home with more online shopping and resultant increased amounts of recycling such as cardboard packaging, having an impact, and access to some routes hindered by parked vehicles.
The council also had to step in to held issues with driver recruitment, having to allocate £150,000 in its 2022-23 budget to help Suez retain drivers, many having been lost to better-paying HGV jobs.
Services had since got better and officers would also continue working with Suez to improver them further.
But the service was doing well, with only one per cent of Calderdale’s rubbish going to landfill, which had associated financial and environmental costs, councillors heard.
It was where a lot of the sorting effectively being done at the kerb side was paying off, said Coun Lynn (Lab, Park).
She said of the figure: “That doesn’t happen in many other local authorities – that’s one of the lowest in the country.”
Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden), Cabinet member for Resources, said the extension option was the right one to pursue.
“At the moment it’s not prudent or financially responsible to enter into a new long term contract,” she said.
Giant French public utilities company Suez operates household waste and recycling services in the district - as well as wheelie bin rounds - on behalf of Calderdale Council.
It is one of the UK’ s leading waste management businesses operating from over 300 locations.
The contract also includes the operation of five household recycling centres across Calderdale.