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Gloucester looks to renegotiate Amey contract

Gloucester City Council could cut back on recycling collections and introduce commingling following a national trend of local authorities rejigging waste contracts in order to save money.

Councillors are pressing ahead with a review of the current service contract, which was signed with Amey in 2007 and runs to 2022.

The council said it faced an “unprecedented reduction in budget which has seen the price of the contract value needing to be reduced”.

After holding talks with Amey, it was decided to put forward plans to introduce a commingled collection and reduce the frequency to every two weeks.

It said the move to commingling would save around £300,000 gross, as levels of recycling are estimated to rise and lead to an increase in the council’s recycling credits.

Gloucester currently runs a fortnightly residual waste collection, along with weekly recycling collections for glass, plastic, paper, cans and household batteries. Food waste is also collected weekly, while charges apply to garden waste.

A report to the council’s cabinet committee also warned that the current service would struggle to hit the 50% recycling rate target for 2020 because residents considered it “complicated, time consuming and messy”.

The review will also look at whether the commingled service would be allowed under EU waste regulations that require separate glass, paper, metal and plastic collections unless it is not technically, economically and environmentally practicable to do so.

A recent report by Ricardo-AEA revealed that around two-thirds of local authorities had either renegotiated their waste contracts or were planning to do so in response to cutbacks in Government funding.

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