Verdant has won a £10.5 million, seven-year contract with South Bucks District Council in a deal which includes an alternate weekly collection (AWC) trial intended to raise recycling rates. Refuse, recycling and street cleaning services will begin in November for about 26,5000 homes. While the majority of the services, for about 21,000 properties, will focus on weekly sack collections, an AWC trial for refuse and recyclates will run for 5,400 homes. Recyclates collected in the trial will include paper, card, glass and cans from kerbside collection boxes as well as domestic and garden waste from wheeled bins. Where operational, this service will replace existing recycling services, where currently paper and card are collected every fortnight and glass and cans every four weeks. Fortnightly collections of recyclates will be handled by single-pass vehicles with separate material compartments to maximise efficiency. These vehicles will also collect plastics in future. Materials will be taken to Verdants Amersham depot before being shipped to reprocessors. The aim of these changes is to increase South Bucks recycling rate from 33% to at least the national 40% target by 2010. More ambitious targets have also been set by the Buckinghamshire Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy to reach 45% by 2010, rising to 60% by 2025. Portfolio holder for the environment councillor Bill Lidgate said: Waste reduction and recycling are high on our agenda. We also emphasise working in partnership with our key contractors, and Verdants track record in building municipal partnerships. While there will be some changes to the service, Im confident Verdant will help make South Bucks a greener place where residents support cutting waste and improving recycling. Verdant managing director Simon Miles added: Our work with South Bucks will benefit from significant synergies with our existing operations in the region, and Im confident that our service focus will deliver what South Bucks District Council and its residents want.