After legal challenge, waste collection & recycling contracts will bring changes
In January 2016 Wiltshire Council's cabinet awarded two main contracts for waste and recycling to Hills Waste Solutions. This meant the company had secured all five of the waste collection and management contracts for the county - as announced in this Hills press release.
It is now clear that that following the announcement of the contract decisions, the council was subject to a legal challenge by FCC Environment. The Council says: "The claim has now been dismissed so the council is able to award contracts."
But these two main contracts have now been divided between Hills and FCC - a very different outcome to that announced in January 2016. The council talks of 'the resolution of the legal challenge' which has resulted in FCC getting one of the two contracts originally awarded to Hills - the contract for managing the council's household recycling centres.
The contract for the collection of waste and recycling materials continues with Hills Waste Solutions.
Each of the five contracts were going to run from 1 August 2017 - and last for eight years with the option to extend them for a further eight years.
The transfer of the nine council-owned household recycling centres to FCC Environment will happen on 2 October 2017. And FCC will be making improvements to the sites which should be complete by the end of the year.
The council says it will work with trade unions on the transfer of staff that this re-apportioned arrangement of contracts will involve.
The new waste and recycling collection contract has been delayed even further - it will start on 30 July 2018. This will be a simplified service with black boxes reserved for glass and all other recyclables - including a wider selection of plastics and drink cartons - going into the blue-top bins. Details will be circulated to households in the coming months.
The other three contracts held by Hills Waste Solution - which include composting of garden waste and treatment and landfill of residual waste - will now also start of 30 July next year.
Wiltshire Council says it has "...positive working relationships with both service providers, and expects this to continue through the transition period and into the new contract arrangements."
The grounds on which the January 2016 contract announcement was challenged are still not clear. Nor is it clear whether the challenge came to court or was resolved before it got that far.
[This report clarifies some of the issues raised in our earlier report on these contracts.]