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Extra £2 million spent on new Wirral waste contract

Biffa is to take over waste operations for Wirral Council in a massive overhaul of collections that will see the local authority spend an extra £2 million a year.

In awarding the new Environmental Streetscene Services Contract to the company, it has dropped Veolia Environmental Services, which had been criticised for a failure to collect bins from narrow streets and received complaints about public bins overflowing at weekends.

While officials suggested there had been problems with Veolia’s service delivery, the new link-up comes with the ambitious goal of increasing recycling figures from 9.9% to close to 50% in the next few years.

Wirral Council leader Steve Foulkes said that this “huge investment” would place great pressures on the budget, but was necessary to meet public expectations and Government recycling targets.

It comes into effect on August 22 and will cover all refuse collection, street cleansing and recycling services for Wirral residents over the next 14 years, with an option to extend this for a further seven.

Wirral Council director of technical services David Green said: “We are delighted that Biffa will be our new contractor for all waste services in Wirral. The new contract will see lots of improvements for residents and great new recycling services.

“I would like to thank Onyx [now Veolia Environmental Services] for their contribution over the years. We remain convinced that the new contract will see significant improvements in terms of service delivery to residents.”

After it was worked out with the help of the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, it was suggested that the new contract would act as a model for other councils.

Biffa general manager for municipal services Gary Bowles said: “Wirral represents the latest in a line of local authority contracts that Biffa has with councils across the UK. We look forward to working with Wirral to bring local residents a waste collection and recycling service of which they can be proud.”

Veolia Environmental Services said it will make a response shortly.

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