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City’s waste contract set for review

10 January 2017

Council leaders are considering proposals to end the authority’s waste contract with provider Veolia.

At present, Veolia is responsible for collecting and disposing of waste, running household waste recycling centres, managing and operating the Energy Recovery Facility at Bernard Road and the district heating network, bulky item collections and the collection and disposal of abandoned vehicles.

The current contract was signed in 2001 and is set to expire in 2036.

However, proposals are set to be discussed by Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet next week  where members will consider alternative solutions to provide waste services in the city.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “It is no secret that we are operating in very tough financial times and we have to do things differently.

“Our contract with Veolia, which was signed 16 years ago, is no longer meeting our needs and is no longer compatible with the tough financial landscape in which the Government is forcing us to operate.

“In last year’s budget we set out crucial savings targets and unfortunately we have been unable to achieve these savings from the existing contract. We need to find a best-value solution that ensures a quality waste service for Sheffield taxpayers.

“We also know that Veolia currently employs around 180 people in Sheffield. We are committed to consulting with the affected workforce on any proposed changes if they are approved by Cabinet next week.”

If the Council’s Cabinet agrees that the contract should be ended and new arrangements procured, the utmost priority will be to ensure that waste services continue to run smoothly throughout the process.

Unless residents are specifically told of any changes, waste and recycling services will continue as normal, and collection days will remain the same. The contract with Veolia will continue until a new service provider is in place.

At the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 18 January members are also being asked to consider changes to the way in which waste and recycling services are provided.

The main changes proposed include replacing the blue box with an additional recycling bin; charging for new and replacement black bins and green bins and changing collection times from 7am to 4pm Monday to Friday, to 6am to 9pm.

Other proposed changes include collecting bins at flats on weekends between 7am and 4pm; introducing the collection of plastic bottles for recycling at flats and the introduction of shared black bins and/or recycling bins, following local consultation, where steps or space makes it difficult for residents to store bins on their property.

There are no plans to introduce three-weekly collections of waste, and the majority of changes would not take place until any new arrangements are put in place.

Any agreed changes will be communicated to residents before they come into place, and only once discussions have taken place with the workforce and trade unions.

Cllr Lodge added: “We are confident that, by making changes to our waste policy, we can continue to provide a high-quality service to residents – and provide better value for money at the same time.”