Biffa preferred bidder for Kent waste contract

Waste management service provider, Biffa Municipal Ltd has been chosen as the preferred bidder for Mid Kent Joint Waste Partnership’s (MKJWP) £8.6 million refuse collection and street cleansing contract.

Comprising Maidstone Borough Council, Ashford Borough Council and Swale Borough Council, the MKJWP chose Biffa as the preferred bidder for the 10-year contract, ahead of seven other bidders, including current contractor SITA UK. Biffa currently holds a contract for waste collections and street cleansing service in Swale, and a contract for street cleansing in Ashford.

The new deal is targeting an increase for recycling rates in the partnership by an average of 44 per cent.

If successful, the contract would see Biffa Municipal provide alternate weekly collections (AWC) for residual waste and co-mingled dry recyclables alongside weekly food and green waste collection services. It would also cover bulky waste and street cleaning services.

“Biffa is delighted to be preferred bidder for the Mid Kent joint contract, especially considering two of the three partners are existing clients, and looks forward to being confirmed”, said a Biffa spokesperson.

Councillor David Simmons, Swale Cabinet Member for The Environment and Rural Affairs, said: “The emptying of bins is an important service provided to every household in the borough. The contents of the bins must no longer be regarded as rubbish but instead as a valuable resource.

"Under the new arrangements more items, including glass, can be placed in the blue dry recycling bin without using the insert, and a new weekly food waste collection will be introduced. Separate arrangements will be made for those properties not able to use wheeled bins. In the next few months the council will be carrying out an awareness and communication programme with residents so that they can take maximum advantage of the exciting new opportunities for recycling."

It is expected that the service will be rolled out once existing waste contracts come to an end, with Ashford commencing the contract from April 2013, Maidstone from August 2013 and Swale from December 2013.

WRAP Hospitality and Food Service Agreement

Biffa has also announced today (30 October), that it has become the first waste management operator to sign up to WRAP’s Hospitality and Food Service Agreement.

The voluntary agreement, launched in June, asks UK hotels, pubs, restaurants, caterers and government departments amongst others, to reduce food and associated packaging waste arising by five per cent by the end of 2015 (based against a 2012 baseline and measured by CO2 emissions) and increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion (AD) or composted, to at least 70 per cent by the end of the same year.

The agreement was launched after WRAP research found that the industry could save over £720 million a year if ‘avoidable food waste was prevented and unavoidable food waste was sent to AD’.

Biffa’s Julia Turnbull said: “The strength of the agreement is that it brings the whole chain together. By bringing the chain together to identify the solutions and deliver change further and faster, we can use our industry knowledge to help make this happen and help our customers deliver their commitments to the agreement.

“We plan to actively participate within the working groups, using our knowledge and understanding of waste management to find the right solutions.” 

CEO of WRAP, Liz Goodwin said: “We are delighted that Biffa has signed up to be a supporter of the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement. One of the big challenges the hospitality and food service sector currently faces, as identified by WRAP’s research, is tackling the vast amount of food and packaging waste it produces and currently disposes of to landfill each year.

“The joint agreement between WRAP, all four UK governments and industry will tackle this issue, and by working together we can reduce the environmental impact from waste produced by the hospitality and food service sector, whilst reaping the financial benefits.”

One of the largest waste management companies in the UK, Biffa has had a troubled financial year and is currently £1.1 billion in debt, with industry sources reporting that the company is now in talks to sell parts of the company.