Biffa awarded contract extension

Biffa awarded contract extension Biffa Municipal has secured a six-year extension to its municipal services contract with Forest of Dean District Council worth £18 million.

The contract will see the partnership run until at least 31 July 2024 and will see the waste management company implement a range of service changes, which will be introduced from August 2016. 

It is intended that these changes will help increase household recycling rates above the current 48 per cent by diverting more waste from expensive landfill or energy production.

Maximising collection efficiency

At present in the Forest of Dean, kerbside sorted paper, glass and metal cans in boxes and residual waste in wheeled bins are collected once every two weeks with collections of food waste in caddies occurring weekly.

The new measures being introduced will allow the incorporation of weekly collections of an increased range of dry recyclables in kerbside sorted boxes.  This will include plastic bottles, textiles, cardboard and a small amount of WEEE in addition to normal food waste collections.

To maximise the collection efficiency of this expanded range of recyclables, Biffa will launch a new fleet of 10 resource recovery vehicles (RRVs). These vehicles have Romaquip kerbsort bodies, which allow them to collect both food and dry waste simultaneously. The company says that this will help reduce road miles and diesel consumption.

Tight budgets

Commenting on the extended contract, Councillor Marrilyn Smart, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Forest of Dean District Council, said: “Biffa has worked hard for all residents for nearly 30 years, and its proposals for helping the district to recycle more and waste less make sound sense.

“At a time of extremely tight budgets, we felt it important to maximise service productivity while lowering costs, and are confident that Biffa will achieve this.”

Pete Dickson, Commercial Director at Biffa, added: “All my colleagues and I appreciate the council’s vote of confidence in Biffa. We will continue to focus on providing reliable, efficient and cost-effective collections that meet the needs of all concerned.”

TEEP lessons from Forest of Dean

Andy Moore, Director of UK Recyclate Ltd, has praised the development, saying it shows that kerbside sort collection systems can take place in local authorities of any terrain.

According to the UK’s transposition of the EU’s revised Waste Framework Directive (the Waste Regulations (Amendment) 2012), by January 2015, every waste collection authority in England and Wales must have had separate collections for waste paper, metal, plastic and glass in place where technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP). 

However, the definition of TEEP has not been clarified, and to date very few local authorities have switched from co-mingled collections to kerbside sort, commonly citing the cheaper delivery of co-mingled systems.

Moore, who has previously campaigned against co-mingled recycling and lives in the Forest of Dean, said: “This isn’t a wealthy authority and the terrain isn't easy but it is clearly determined to do things according to the Waste Regulations and a sound recycling strategy.

“And if it can be done properly here, it can be done right anywhere. Truly, separate collection is technically, environmentally and economically practicable everywhere. I congratulate the Gloucester Joint Waste Team officers and the local members."