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Bin boss: council imports bad for environment and economy

A British bin manufacturer has insisted a council that awarded a contract to an overseas company made the wrong decision for the environment and the local economy.

Jonathan Straight of manufacturer Straight PLC told MRW his firm may have been the cheapest bidder in the controversial procurement of 225,000 “twin bins” by Durham council.

The council came under attack for awarding the contract to a supplier with manufacturing plants in Germany and France despite an unnamed British firm apparently submitting a £250,000 lower bid.

A leaked memo obtained by the Northern Echo shows the £4.2m winning bid by Leicestershire and Maastricht-based ESE was the most expensive, but scored significantly higher in the council’s “quality assessment”.

Straight, though, said the procurement process was flawed. He said the council did not do “the smartest thing” by awarding 40% of the bid scores on quality because “all wheeled bins in the market meet the same standard”.

“With 40% on non-price, it’s going to skew the outcome; the council are paying quarter of a million pounds more than they have to. They may be getting quarter of a million pounds more value. But I suspect they’re not.” he said.

Straight also criticised the procurement decision for its carbon footprint, saying his factory was the closest to Durham of any of the five bidders.

The excess carbon emissions created by manufacturing the bins in Germany or France is about half a million tonnes, he said

“Half a million tonnes is a lot of carbon to have on your conscience,” Straight said. “They’ve not done the most sensible thing and they’re not supporting local British industry.”

Darren Knowd, Durham’s corporate procurement manager, told the Press Association earlier this week: “The council has followed a rigorous procurement exercise following all EU regulations and clearly set out how the contract would be awarded.

“Taking into account both the price and quality requirements of the project, the winning bidder produced the best all-round offer, which provided the council with greater assurance that the project would be satisfactorily completed.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Straight is wrong on the Quality issue: not all bins are the same, look at all the breakages when they use mixed materials to get cost down ~ analysis was and is used on "whole of life".
    Seems like bitter loser?

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