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Council forced to renegotiate Veolia contract

Declining recycling rates have forced Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to renegotiate its two-year-old contract with Veolia.

Recycling rates fell from just below 50% to around 46% in 2016-17.

The council’s director of public protection Carl Robinson said: “At a national level, recycling rates have declined and the amount of black sack waste has increased.

“Southend has not been immune from this trend. This has financial implications, in terms of tonnage charges applied by the Government to disposal of such waste and the amount of money waste companies can earn from the sale of recyclable products.”

Robinson said that to keep the contract viable, “we have reprofiled the recycling targets that we set Veolia”.

He said these would be published in the council’s next performance report but they have not yet been issued. Discussion of the contract revision was held in secret at a cabinet meeting in February.

Southend still expects to meet the national recycling target of 50% by 2020.

Robinson said: “We have been clear during negotiations that more must be done to improve recycling rates. As a result, Veolia has recruited a further three recycling officers, whose role it will be to promote recycling among residents of the borough.”

In March, Veolia was involved in a dispute with Brighton & Hove City Council, which claimed it was being prevented from recycling some materials because the company refused to alter the terms of its PFI waste disposal contract.




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