East Northants Council has signed a new deal to manage waste and recycling throughout the area and to help people recycle more waste and litter less.
The new seven-year contract to provide rubbish, recycling and street cleaning services in the district was signed by Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) and Paul Taylor, group chief executive of FCC Environment (UK) Limited today (Thursday).
The new £20 million contract, which the authority says will save council taxpayers more than £3 million over the seven years, has a strong focus on high standards of customer service.
It also includes opportunities for the council and its new contractor FCC Environment to develop services in line with innovations emerging within the waste sector such as the potential use of alternative fuel vehicles during the life of the contract and potentially into an extension.
People will continue to receive the same fortnightly recycling and refuse collections as they currently do.
If changes to collection days are necessary to improve efficiency, they will be communicated well in advance to avoid any confusion or inconvenience.
Trade waste will also continue to be collected in the same way and the Garden Waste Club remains open for residents to join to recycle their green waste.
The new contract will begin when the existing one expires at the end of July.
Council leader Steven North said: “We’re committed to providing a reliable and convenient waste collection service which promotes recycling and represents value for money.
“This new contract will ensure we continue to deliver first-class waste collection and street cleaning services to our residents - who work hard to recycle as much as possible.
“Together, we will continue protecting our environment by sending more and more of our household waste for recycling.”
The council’s waste services manager Charlotte Tompkins added: “We will be collecting the same refuse and recycling in the same bins.
“Collections days may change to accommodate all the new houses built in the district and to allow us to ensure we are still using the most fuel efficient routes.
“Otherwise, it’s collection business as usual.”
Charlotte said the process to find the best contractor started about two years ago as this is the biggest contract that the council is responsible for.
Council members and officers had five bids to consider to find the best provider for the district and FCC Environment Ltd came out on top after months of going through the credentials of each bid.
Charlotte said members were impressed that FCC Environment is forward thinking, especially in terms of sustainability, and that the company understood the needs of the area, including a seamless transition when they take over the contract.
Group chief executive of FCC Environment Paul Taylor said: “FCC Environment is one of the UK’s leading waste and recycling businesses serving the needs of some 60 local authorities.
“We process 1.6 million tonnes of recycling each year and generate 102 MW of green energy from the waste that cannot be recycled.
“We are delighted to be bringing our experience to residents of East Northamptonshire and look forward to working closely with the council to exceed the communities expectations.”
Staff employed by the current contractor Kier will transfer to FCC so there are no expected redundancies among the 10 to 12 drivers who already go out on the collection routes across East Northants.
The council has used its own finances to purchase the fleet upfront, which includes nine large trucks and numerous smaller vehicles, at the beginning of the contract.
This is quite usual for public bodies and it helps to bring the annual collection costs down.
It also reduces the amount of unnecessary interest the council pays.