Council to seek new environmental service contractor

Published Tuesday 8 September 2015

Harborough District Council’s Executive committee agreed on Monday 7 September 2015 that a new contractor should be sought to provide its environmental service.

The service includes bin collections, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance. It plans to tender for the Service in October with the intention of a new contract starting in April 2017.

Over the summer Harborough District Council asked residents to share their views as part of a review of its environmental service as it looks to make savings rising up to £1.4million per year from 2018/19. This showed high levels of satisfaction with the current frequency of collection, cleanliness of streets and maintenance of parks and open space. Listening to the consultation responses the Council has agreed to continue the current alternate fortnightly collection of the black (residual waste) bin and the blue lidded recycling bin. The Council does not propose reintroducing a separate food waste collection at this stage.

Councillors said the loss of ‘recycling credits’, which were financial incentives provided by the county council to offset the costs of landfill disposal, and a reduced market price on the sale of recycling materials – as well as reduced Government funding to local councils – had resulted in significant challenges and a need to review its environmental service contract to deliver an affordable service in the future. The Council’s Executive agreed two key changes from 2017.

Firstly, it is proposed to stop the separate collection of paper in the separate paper caddy – this allows for more efficient collection and the simplification of the vehicles used for the collection. Recent reduction in the price the Council can secure for the sale of separated paper collection no longer makes it cost-effective to collect paper separately.

Secondly, the Council’s Executive made an ‘agreement in principle’ that green bin collections should move to a subscription based chargeable seasonal service from 2017. The arrangements and level of charge proposed will be considered by Full Council next year. The collection of green waste is not a statutory service, but is one valued by the District’s residents. Against the backdrop of reduced funding and in order to continue to provide this service across the District it is necessary to start charging for the service in the future.    

Cllr Phil King, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “We are committed to getting the best value for money for our residents whilst providing a high quality service. Our decision to go out to market and seek a new contract will help achieve the best possible value for taxpayers and mean we continue to provide an excellent service in the future.”  

Cllr Neil Bannister, the Council's portfolio holder for environment and regulation, added: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. The feedback we received has been invaluable in deciding the best approach going forward.”