Taxpayers to save money with joint waste collection council contract
- Credit: IAN BURT
Breckland Council, North Norfolk Council and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council have shared a contract for waste and recycling with company Serco.
Agreed at a council meeting in December, the councils said it will save money by going through contract negotiations, legal fees and spending on staff time once - instead of three times individually.
The contract has cost the councils £230m and will run for nine years in north Norfolk and eight years in Breckland and west Norfolk. Despite the large figure the councils said by offering a larger district contract it was in a better position to negotiate.
Households will not see an immediate change to their waste collection with bin colours, routes and timetables expected to stay the same.
Breckland Council has used Serco for its collections since 2005.
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Its leader, councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, said: “By working closely together with our partners we have been able to secure a contract which will deliver an even better service than we already receive, at a best-value price.
“That has to be good news for our residents and I look forward to seeing the brand new bin collection vehicles operating across our three districts later this year.”
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In addition to household bin collections, Serco, which has a base in Dereham, will deliver general waste and recycling collections, household bulky waste collections, street cleaning, removal of fly-tipped materials, litter and dog bin management, and grass cutting.
Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, councillor Brian Long, said: “The waste service is the single biggest service provided by all councils.
“Working jointly has meant we can offer an improved service and take advantage of cross-district collection rounds. This drives greater efficiency and lower emissions.”
The councils said that cross-boundary areas can be served better as vehicles and staff can be shared across the areas.
Serco will begin to provide the new service in north Norfolk from April 2020 and from 2021 in Breckland and west Norfolk, when the councils’ current individual deals come to an end.
The new waste contract with Serco will provide Breckland, west and north Norfolk with new bin lorries.
These, along with other vehicles, will operation across the three council areas and will include reduced emission and hybrid vehicles.
Councillor Brian Long, leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, said: “The agreement between the three councils drives greater efficiency and lower emissions. The contract also includes some electric and hybrid vehicles helping us towards our quest for carbon neutrality.”
Residents can expect to see the new vehicles on their roads when the service comes into affect from April 2020 in north Norfolk and 2021 in west Norfolk and Breckland.
As well as the vehicles a new IT system is being created which the councils say will provide real-time information to residents and make it easier to book addition services online, such as garden waste collections.