What is going on with Wiltshire Council's waste & recycling contracts?
In January 2016 it was announced that after a procurement process, Hills Waste Solutions had won all five of Wiltshire Council's waste collection and waste management contracts - which were due to start on 1 August 2017.
Hills had already been awarded three of the 'lots' or sub-contracts into which the Council had divided their full package of waste services in July 2015. In addition, the January 2016 award gave Hills the management of Wiltshire's eleven household recycling centres and the county's waste collection services.
Each of Hills' five new contracts would run for eight years from 1 August 2017 - with an option for the Council to extend them for a further eight years. The full contract was said in January 2016 to be worth £190million.
When the overall contract with Hills was announced it was said that Wiltshire would be moving to more mixed collections with blue-lid bins taking plastics, card, cans and paper, and black boxes reserved for glass. There has been no information given to householders about any changes that may be coming in today (August 1) with this new contract.
But doubts as to whether Hills will be taking up the full portfolio of contracts have arisen after reports that recycling centre employees in some parts of Wiltshire are being transferred - via TUPE arrangements - to another contractor, FCC Environment, which is part of the Spanish owned FCC Group - 'one of the world’s largest environmental services companies'.
Neither the waste companies or Wiltshire Council have made announcements about this. There have been rumours that the contracts were challenged in court. But no record of hearings seems to exist.
Under the new contract Hills were to take up collections of garden and residual waste, a service that had been provided by FCC Environment in West Wiltshire only.
Hills first signed a waste management contract with Wiltshire Council in 1996. In February last year they announced they had diverted two million tonnes of Wiltshire's waste away from landfill.
At the time of the January 2016 announcement, Councillor Toby Sturgis, then cabinet member for waste, said: “I’m very pleased we will have one collection contractor, with a proven track record, to deliver this vital service for our residents in an efficient, effective way."
“Residents will receive a smooth service and be able to recycle even more which is good news. The awarding of the contract will mean certain changes and we will be working with all staff in this area as we move towards this new system in 2017. We will provide residents with further information close to the date for commencement of the new service.”
Marlborough.news is expecting a statement from Wiltshire Council in the near future.
[The above photo is from Youtube]