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Desperate bid to get new waste contract approved

Desperate bid to get new waste contract approved

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 5th January 2020. (Updated at 8:11am 5th January 2020)

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Richard Whitehouse

Cornwall Council has launched a desperate bid to make its new rubbish and recycling contract sound positive despite households being set to get a reduced service.

The authority had to scrap plans to introduce a weekly recycling collection alongside fortnightly rubbish collection after it was unable to find an operator within its budget.

As a result the council is set to award the new contract on a basis that both recycling and black bag waste will be collected fortnightly.

This is a reduction from the current service which sees black bag waste collected weekly and recycling collected fortnightly.

The council had hoped to introduce weekly recycling collections in a bid to drive up recycling rates which in some areas of Cornwall are as low as 25%.

recycling bags

But the council has issued a press release which describes the new service as “a time for exciting change” in Cornwall.

One new aspect of the service will be a weekly food waste collection which the council hopes will help to reduce the amount of food waste going in black bags.

After being unable to find an operator for the contract the council drew up the new specifications and went out to tender again. It has also had to extend the existing contract by a further six months to October.

The new waste and recycling collection services are not due to be launched across Cornwall until 2021.

Next week the council's Cabinet will be asked to approve the award of the contract to the new operator. 

Details of who is in the running have been made confidential and will not be revealed until after the meeting.

However in looking ahead to the meeting the council issued a press release which attempts to look at the contract saga in a positive light, despite the fact that the service will be reduced from what residents get now.

rubbish bins - St Austell Household Waste Recycling Centre

Rob Nolan, Cabinet member for environment and public protection, is quoted as saying: 

"Cornwall Council has done a thorough job in seeking best value for the public purse while also providing Cornwall with a high standard of recycling and waste collection services. 

"Our plans are in line with the Government's draft Environmental Bill and Cornwall Council’s Resource and Waste Strategy.

"We have now received highly competitive, professional bids with reduced prices, and this allows us to recommend to Cabinet that we award the contract. 

"We are grateful to the bidders for their help in getting us to this stage.

"We are keen to press ahead with delivering these new services, and householders should see them rolled out during 2021. 

"In the meantime, it would be good preparation for everyone to seek to minimise their waste and maximise their recycling using the current services - around 57% of the contents of the average black bin bag in Cornwall is made up of food waste or other recyclable materials.

"This is a time of exciting change for Cornwall to bring our services in line with the best elsewhere in England. Some of the top performing local authorities already operate weekly food waste and fortnightly recycling and rubbish collections.

"We acknowledge that householders will have many questions about the new collection services and we will be in touch to give details well in advance of their introduction.

"The people of Cornwall told us clearly in the 2017 waste survey that they want to recycle as much as possible and this new provision for food waste will help make this happen".

Rob Nolan


As well as the rubbish and recycling collection the new contract also covers a number of other services.

These include garden waste collection, bulky household waste collection, cleaning services including streets and beaches; fly-posting and graffiti removal; fly-tipping removal and dead animal collection service.

The Cabinet will meet on Thursday January 9th to make a decision on the new contract.

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