Firm chosen for new £30m recycling deal

Recycling bins on Church Street, Sidmouth. Ref shs 2844-04-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

Recycling bins on Church Street, Sidmouth. Ref shs 2844-04-16SH. Photo Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

District bosses have agreed to a new £30million waste collection contract that will offer an improved recycling service - but will see households’ black wheelie bins emptied every three weeks instead of two.

The new scheme, if rubber-stamped later this month, will allow residents to recycle cardboard, mixed plastics and Tetrapak at the kerbside.

The thinking behind the initiative is that by allowing cardboard and plastic to be recycled, there will be space for an extra week’s rubbish in the black refuse bins.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) leadership decided on a winning bidder for its £30million, seven-year recycling and refuse collection contract last week.

But due to European Union rules, the deal can not be finalised until after a 10-day ‘standstill period’.

A report presented to EDDC’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, February 10, evaluated bids from three companies vying for the deal.

It concluded that the firm offering the extra recycling and three-weekly refuse collections offered a better service for residents, while at the same time saving the council more than £264,000.

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The report’s author, John Golding, strategic lead for EDDC’s housing, health and environment department, acknowledged that there would be a ‘series of risks’ in rolling out the service across the district.

However, he said the success of trials in Exmouth and Feniton - and a gradual phasing in of the new service - would help mitigate these risks.

Following the council’s decision to pick a winning bidder, an EDDC spokeswoman said: “Abiding by EU procurement rules, the council has today contacted the winning bidder and the unsuccessful bidders to confirm our decision and intent to award a contract. There is now a 10-day standstill period, which concludes at midnight on February 22. During this time, the winning bidder has the opportunity to accept or decline the offer, and the unsuccessful companies can challenge the decision. If we receive no challenge then the award will be made on Tuesday, February 23.”