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Cardiff to commercialise waste services

The City of Cardiff Council is to put its non-household waste services on more commercial footing to boost revenue.

Identified as a sector with great income potential, the council’s commercial and domestic waste collections, recycling treatment and disposal will be grouped together under a ’Recycling Waste Services’ banner.

Managers and employees will be trained in service costs, supplier spend control, pricing, branding, marketing and performance. They will also report to a board.

The council said the new way of working will help it to become a commercially focused organisation, raising new revenue streams by offering services to the private sector and other local authorities.

The initial cost of training staff will be about £1m, which it expects to recoup during the next five years.

Bob Derbyshire, cabinet member with responsibility for the project, said: “We have to find ways to bring money into the council to offset the ongoing reduction in our budgets.

“We want to buck the trend by increasing income opportunities in the council so we don’t have to continue to cut, cut and cut again.

“There will be clear benefits for our residents who will see better neighbourhood services – an example of which will be cleaner streets.”

Derbyshire said a modified in-house model was preferred to a wholly owned company scheme because it could gain the same benefits without the risks.

The council already has contracts with other authorities – for example it processes Caerphilly’s household recycling at its MRF and takes NHS waste. Derbyshire said clients preferred to be offered a package across all different services.

“By improving our in-house model, we have a great opportunity to bid for more of these contracts, bringing much-needed revenues into the council while supporting other public sector bodies.”

Angie Shields, on behalf of the GMB, UCATT, Unite and Unison unions, said they were pleased all the services would remain in-house.

”There has also been a commitment from the council to invest in proper and meaningful development of staff who deliver the services on the frontline.

“There will also be apprenticeships, helping our young people of the city to gain skills and future employment within the council. The council wishes to become more commercialised, which ultimately will secure jobs.”

The council’s final business case and recommendations will be taken to the cabinet on 16 June.

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