Somerset Waste Partnership has set out an ambitious plan to align collection, disposal and vehicle procurement arrangements by March 2020. Requiring harmonisation of a range of changes and their timetables, the three unified deals of collection services, residual waste disposal, and vehicle procurement aim to improve services, help drive recycling rates from 53% to 60% and beyond, and cut waste costs by many millions of pounds. To accelerate progress, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) and waste collections contractor Kier have jointly agreed to end their current contract 18 months early, on 27 March 2020. This agreement triggers a procurement process for kerbside collection services covering Somerset’s 256,000 households, with a Prior Information Notice due to be published on Monday 20 November.
This will be predicated on delivering the new “Recycle More” long-term kerbside waste collections contract, with extra recycling materials taken every week and three-weekly rubbish collections. A phased introduction of Recycle More, starting in 2020, aligns it closely with Somerset’s switch from reliance on landfill to generating energy from waste at a facility being built in Avonmouth by contractor Viridor. SWP is accountable to the Somerset Waste Board (SWB), whose 12 councillors – two from each partner authority – take all major decisions, including the timing of changes and contracts. SWB chair Cllr Derek Yeomans said: “Our services are a vital provision for every household; these coordinated changes will improve services for all residents in Somerset and are designed both to raise recycling rates and to ensure very significant economies of scale.” Somerset Waste Partnership managing director Mickey Green said: “This is a time to take major steps forward, improving services for Somerset residents, while also saving them money and improving the environment. “Aligning the timetable for investment, services and disposal ensures the maximum efficiency, greatest savings and the best possible waste solution for Somerset. It is a crucial part of our plan to support people in Somerset to waste far less and recycle even more.”
Julian Tranter, managing director, Kier environmental services, said: “We’re extremely proud of our work with Somerset Waste Partnership, where we’ve seen an increase in recycling to over 50%, and helped implement some industry firsts, such as tracking every tonne of recycling to establish an annual register of what it all becomes.
“To allow SWP to implement its ‘Recycle More’ strategy and invest in new vehicles, Kier and SWP have mutually agreed to end the contract with effect from 27 March 2020. We continue to work closely together to provide a high-quality service for residents and stability for our teams during this time.”
Notes to Editors
United front: aligning contracts to drive up recycling rates and cut service costs
Somerset Waste Partnership is the local authority team managing waste and recycling services for Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and West Somerset District Councils, Taunton Deane Borough Council and Somerset County Council.
Media contact: Senior Communications Officer Nick Cater 01823 625714.
General contact: Customer Services 01823 625700.