Update on waste and recycling

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The successes and issues of the first few months of the new waste collection contract with SUEZ, will be discussed by councillors next week. 

The contract for the collection of waste and recycling in Calderdale was awarded to SUEZ in 2015, with the new service launched in August 2016. 

At the meeting of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel on Thursday 15 December, members will hear from the Cabinet Member, along with Council officers, as well as representatives from SUEZ, to provide an update on the service and how the new contract is performing. 

A number of improvements were introduced as part of the contract, including options for collecting additional materials, improved environmental performance from the new, more efficient vehicles, and greater use of technology to improve service delivery. To deliver these benefits, it became necessary to change the collection day for most households in the borough.  

Unfortunately, there were a number of problems during the first three months of the contract. The number of missed collections over the first 10 weeks was at a high level, with particular issues affecting the hard to reach properties, serviced by the smaller collection vehicles.  

Some of the main reasons for these initial teething problems included the rerouting of SUEZ collection teams and staffing changes. The large scale missed collections and the length of time they went on, resulted in the Council activating deduction clauses in the contract. 

Since this action, the service has significantly improved, with missed collections, complaints and call volumes reducing. The amount of recycling material collected has also increased, with the expansion of the range of materials collected as part of the new contract, a big factor in this increase. 

Cllr James Baker, Chair of the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Panel, said:  

“The initial difficulties as part of the roll out of the new waste contract have been well documented. Now we’re almost four months into the contract, it’s important we can look back and review the progress made in this time and receive an update on how the initial problems have been rectified and how the contract will continue to run to the required standards.”

Nick Browning, General Manager at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, added: 

“Our relationship with the Council is a partnership and we feel this has been further strengthened by the new service and improvements made in recent months. With any large scale collection contract there are often issues for a small number of residents at the beginning of the contract as teams adapt to new routes, new technologies and methodology of collection. We apologise that these residents experienced issues at this point and we worked hard to resolve these as quickly as possible. We are looking forward to working with the Council to ensure residents continue to have the best service possible from us.” 

The meeting will be held at 6pm on Thursday 15 December, at Halifax Town Hall.

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