Local councils have appointed Biffa to provide the waste and recycling collection service to households in Hastings, Rother and Wealden.
The appointment of a seven year contract to Biffa follows a joint procurement project conducted by the three councils following a mutually agreed early exit from the current contract with Kier, following significant change in the recycling market.
Last year the service to residents from Kier was branded as “appalling” by the Wealden Councillor in charge of waste management. The problems were attributed to driver shortages and vehicle breakdowns, and a recover plan was put in place.
About the new contract Cllr Roy Galley has said:
We welcome the news that Biffa has been awarded the new Joint Waste and Recycling contract. We cannot ignore the fact that in recent years, waste collection in Wealden has at times not been delivered to the high standard we expect, nor which our residents deserve. Before the contract starts in June, we will be doing all we can to ensure that Biffa are fully equipped to deliver a seamless service following handover from Kier. We have every confidence that Biffa will provide our residents with a professional and timely service throughout the entirety of the new contract, and we look forward to working with them alongside the other members of the Partnership.
In Rother and Wealden Biffa will also provide street cleaning services. Hastings Borough Council will be providing its own street cleaning in-house.
Wealden have previously announced that under the new contract they will no longer fund a free garden waste collection service for households.
All of the new arrangements will start on 29th June.
Frontline staff working on the current contract will be protected under TUPE regulations which will see them transferred to the new contract.
The Government has recently published an ambitious new Resources and Waste Strategy to eliminating avoidable waste to 2050. As well as introducing penalties for producers of packaging which is difficult to recycle, the Government have said they will end confusion over different household recycling schemes and ensure all households get weekly food waste collections. In East Sussex only Lewes District Council offers a separate weekly kerbside food waste collection.
Some new waste management principles will probably be introduced through new legislation in due course. The Councils have said they will work in partnership with Biffa to meet the service requirements expected by residents, employing a flexible approach to meet the challenges of the changing waste environment and legislation. The new collection system will give them more flexibility by allowing the mix of recycling material to be adjusted without needing new containers and vehicles.
Councillor Tony Ganly, Chair of the Joint Waste and Recycling Committee, said:
Collecting household waste and recycling and keeping our streets clean are essential public services and all the councils are delighted that Biffa will be our contracting partner.
As a specialist waste management company with a long history, Biffa’s company knowledge and experience provides us with confidence they will deliver our residents with an excellent quality of service.
Simon Baddeley, Biffa Municipal’s Development Director, said:
We’re delighted to have been awarded the contract for waste collection, recycling and streets cleansing by the Joint Waste Partnership. We’ll be ensuring our brand new fleet will support a seamless handover from the current waste collection provider while continuing to deliver cost-effective services.
We are also excited to be able to use our technology to provide not only a better service for members of the public, but also a safer one for drivers and residents. With the addition of 360-degree cameras to all of our frontline vehicles we will not only keep them safer, but also inspect streets more efficiently while operating the new street cleansing service.