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New waste contract is agreed for Cornwall

New waste contract is agreed for Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:47am 10th January 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council is set to sign a new contract for its rubbish and recycling service despite concerns that it will not achieve its aim of increasing the amount of waste being recycled.

The council’s Cabinet agreed this afternoon to the new contract which will start in October, although the new collection service will not start until summer 2021.

Under the new proposals recycling and black bag waste will be collected fortnightly along with a new weekly food waste collection.

The council had originally wanted to have a weekly recycling collection service and a fortnightly black bag service but had to ditch the plans after finding it could not afford the contract.

And while the new proposals are a reduction on the current service – where rubbish is collected weekly and recycling fortnightly – councillors claim that they believe it will increase the amount of waste recycled.

Rob Nolan, Cabinet member for environment, said: “This is aiming to increase recycling and will also provide additional new employment and opportunities to provide income.”

bin bags

The identity of the bidders has been kept confidential but Cllr Nolan said that it would be announced publicly tomorrow afternoon.

Council deputy leader Adam Paynter said that he believed the council had been right to go back and renegotiate after finding the original contract plans were outside the budget.

“It is something that is really, really important and we need to get it right,” he said.

“We wanted to make sure that we get best value for the money that we were spending. We didn’t feel we were getting best value under the previous bid – it was absolutely right to go back again.”

Cabinet member Andrew Mitchell, who has been a vocal critic of the plans to change the service, highlighted that the council currently had satisfaction rates of more than 80% of the current service.

He said that while he could not vote in favour of the plans he hoped that it would be good for Cornwall.

Councillor Sue James, the previous Cabinet member responsible for the service, has been consistently raising concerns about community recycling bins being removed.

She said that people living in areas which are not close to supermarkets which have recycling bins would find it difficult once council owned facilities are removed.

bins

But Cllr Nolan said that just 0.7% of recycled waste came from the recycling bins and claimed that half of that was commercial waste.

Cllr Nolan also said that on street recycling bins would start to be introduced to town centres which would also help to increase the amount of waste being recycled.

Councillor Kevin Towill said he was concerned that the new contract would not help the council meet its aims.

He said: “We have had cabinet members saying that they were committed to driving our recycling rates up and would prioritise that over our budgetary needs.

“The weekly recycling contract was a cornerstone of this new contract. Now that weekly recycling has gone and is fortnightly.”

Cllr Nolan said: “We are committed to driving up our recycling rates but the conclusion from our officers was that we can’t afford this (the original contract). We had no choice.

“I am quite confident that going to fortnightly recycling we will improve recycling.”

Cabinet agreed to approve the award of the new contract. It also agreed to the purchase of land to “support the delivery of the waste management service”. Details of that were in confidential papers.

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