Bristol City Council awards long-term contract for in-house waste services
Under previous contracts, waste collection and disposal have been dealt with separately but as part of the new agreement BWC will be responsible for all aspects of collection and disposal in Bristol.
BWC, a Bristol City Council (BCC)-owned company, took over waste services as a temporary measure as of 1 August, following the council’s decision to move to an in-house method of waste collection and end its contract with Kier.
The BCC cabinet made the decision to award BWC a long-term contract on 11 August, after finding that it was the best option for providing affordability and ‘more direct control’ over services.
Responsibility for BWC
As the new contract integrates both collection and disposal services, BWC will be responsible for providing a range of services ‘from beginning to end’ under the new agreement such as:
· waste collection, street cleansing and winter maintenance;
· communication, education and customer engagement;
· the council’s household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs);
· waste treatment and disposal;
· the sale of recyclable material; and
· waste and recycling collection from council premises.
BWC will also endeavour to improve recycling rates and neighbourhoods by working with local communities and is required to submit an annual business plan. It will also provide funding to manage the soon to be built HWRC in Hartcliffe, the third to be housed in Bristol.
The company’s performance will be monitored against a set of council-defined measures. The council will also work with BWC to ensure prosecutions are successful where necessary.
BWC “committed to cleaner streets”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “One of my key promises to the city has been to launch a Clean Streets Campaign. We need a city-wide strategy to tackling problems with littering and fly tipping, and to increase recycling rates. We must work closely with community organisations and schools to promote behaviour change.
“We have been given a real opportunity to make a difference to Bristol’s streets, and after considering all the facts, we believe that Bristol Waste Company offer us the best chance to achieve our ambitious goals for the city.
“There is a lot of work to be done, but we hope that a 10-year contract will allow us the stability to make serious progress towards tidying up our streets.”
Tracey Morgan, Managing Director of BWC, commented: “The whole team at Bristol Waste [Company] is delighted to have been awarded this contract. We look forward to working in partnership with communities across the city to increase recycling, reduce waste and keep our streets free from litter.
“Our aim is for Bristol to be a cleaner city which is happier and healthier for all those who live, work and study here – and, of course, our many visitors. We are committed to cleaner streets and helping to build a greater a sense of pride in the city.”
LAs taking matters into their own hands
A number of other local authorities have also taken the decision to move waste services in house over the past year as they seek to drive down costs.
Last September, Middlesbrough Council moved to end its contract with Biffa early and integrate recycling services into its existing in-house refuse collection services.
As well as Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hounslow have also announced plans or completed moves to take control of council waste services, although it was announced that Hounslow’s plans are ‘in jeopardy’ due to funding problems.