Joint Waste Solutions formed to oversee joint Surrey waste collections

A new organisation has been created to manage single-tier waste services across four Surrey councils, with the potential for more councils to join in the future.

Joint Waste Solutions has been formed by Elmbridge, Woking, Surrey Heath and Mole Valley councils and will combine the existing waste services of the four authorities.

Joint Waste Solutions formed to oversee joint Surrey waste collections
Together the four will take on a 10-year joint contract, awarded in December to services firm Amey, which the group estimates will save the participating councils around £2.5 million a year.

The drive to establish a joint contract was initiated and has been part-funded by the Surrey Waste Partnership, which is comprised of Surrey County Council and the 11 district and borough councils within the county. While Elmbridge, Woking, Surrey Heath and Mole Valley were the councils ready to take on a new contract immediately, the framework of the partnership has been developed to enable more counties to join at a later date.

Surrey County Council said in January that a county-wide waste collection and disposal service could save taxpayers between £8 and £12 million a year through shared efficiencies, improved recycling and a bolstered collective bargaining power on contracts.

As well as joining district councils together, the contract will seek to integrate waste activities in the county into a single tier, rather than a division between waste collection authorities (the districts) and the waste disposal authority (Surrey County Council). The new company, Joint Waste Solutions, will oversee both aspects.

This initial contract covers household waste, recycling, food waste, garden waste, bring banks, bulky waste and the opportunity to introduce a commercial waste service. It will also include street cleaning and associated activities.

Elmbridge will be the first to change to the new contract from 3 June followed by Woking from 11 September. The new service will include the introduction of a weekly collection of textiles and waste electronic and electrical equipment, as well as an extended bulky waste collection service. The new service will be rolled out to Surrey Heath and Mole Valley in 2018.

The new organisation will be led by newly-appointed Director, Matt Smyth, Waste Development Group Manager at Surrey County Council. Plans were revealed late last year for some of the county council’s waste functions to also be added to the new entity later this year.

Smyth said: “The formation of Joint Waste Solutions marks an exciting step forward. I firmly believe that working together is the best way to realise savings while maintaining an excellent service for our residents.”

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