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Calderdale conflict over recycling collections

West Yorkshire-based community recycler Kerbside Calderdale and Sita UK have failed to reach a partnership agreement to deliver recycling services to the borough of Calderdale.

Waste firm Sita had won the councils seven-year contract for recycling and refuse collections in April 2008 and it expressed its intent to enter a partnership agreement with Kerbside, which currently provides recycling collections for 25,000 of Calderdales 87,000 households.

Kerbside chief executive Paul Brannigan had said that Sita had not been prepared to allow his social enterprise organisation to continue to handle recycling collections after it takes over the council contract on August 1.

Following a meeting on July 23 between the council and Sita, Kerbside failed to reach a partnership agreement.

Sita municipal director David Foster said: This is a disappointing outcome for us.  We would like to stress that far from wanting to sideline Kerbside Calderdale, we have been trying to expand their service.  We have made numerous attempts over recent months to reach an agreement for Kerbside Calderdale to expand their recycling service to cover all 87,000 households across the district (from the current 25,000 properties they serve).  However, we
have been unable to reach an agreement that would guarantee the service across the district.

 We have also made alternative offers to Kerbside Calderdale, including providing the opportunity for them to collect bulky waste.  And we have offered to fund Kerbside Calderdale to allow the continuation of the training and social enterprise aspects of their work.  Unfortunately, all of these offers have been rejected.

Kerbside is a social enterprise set up to break down the barriers to employment for those excluded from work opportunities. Chief executive Paul Brannigan hinted that he would set up a rival service. He said he had been inundated with messages of support from the local residents and has started a campaign. He said: This campaign has only just started and there is much more to come. There is much more to come. Weve taken some blows recently, but the response of the community has helped us overcome those. The people want us to serve them and that is what we are fighting for. Sita have called it a day with negotiations, but their customer Calderdale Council needs to stand up and be counted.

Calderdale Council deputy leader Stephen Baines said it was regrettable that Sita and Kerbside failed to reach an agreement.

He said: All Kerbside staff have been offered the chance to transfer to Sita and Calderdale Council understands that Sita has offered improved terms and conditions to those employees.
Calderdale Council is confident that Sita will fulfil its obligations to involve social enterprise in its operation and will work with Sita to ensure that this happens.

Image: Kerbside staff (L-R) John Large and Alan Ligocke


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