Consevative run Cheshire West and Chester Council has this week confirmed May Gurney as the contractor to deliver a new recycling   and waste collection service to the borough’s residents.  The new harmonised collection service is based upon a ‘kerbside-sort’ system – allowing residents to recycle glass bottles and jars, mixed paper, cardboard, food and drinks cans, aluminium foil, mixed plastic food packaging, textiles, food and beverage cartons (tetrapaks), household and car batteries, spectacles, small electrical items, mobile phones, used cooking and engine oil, shoes, printer cartridges, garden waste and kitchen waste, from their doorsteps.

Starting in April 2012, the 14-year contract will transform the three existing collection arrangements in three phases over the next 12 months:  

Phase One – Former Vale Royal Area – June 2012

Phase Two – Former Ellesmere Port and Nester Area – August 2012

Phase Three   – Former Chester District Area – November 2012

Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Community and Environment, said: “The new contract will deliver the most innovative, accountable and customer-led service possible.  By treating recyclable waste as a valuable resource May Gurney can deliver a new service which maximises the quality of materials it collects, getting the best possible price for them, which in turn will keep the cost to the taxpayer down.  The new contract will provide savings of over £50m over the 14 year life of the contract – almost double the target set by members at the beginning of the procurement process.”

Kitchen food waste makes up around a third of the waste in residual waste bins. As part of separate weekly food waste collections, this will be recycled rather than going to landfill. Residents will have the added reassurance that the smelly components have been removed from their bin.

Councillor Riley added: “Effective communication between partners and residents will be vital to the success of the new service, and a full awareness plan will take place in each area as part of every phase. To keep residents up to date with the latest developments we are also introducing a new e-newsletter which residents can sign up to receive.”  

Households within the former Vale Royal area will continue to use their existing 55-litre boxes for recycling, although what is placed into each will change. A new 23-litre kitchen waste caddy will be delivered to each household for collection of kitchen waste; these containers will then all be collected weekly.

The existing brown wheeled bins will be collected as part of the transformation, a new 180-litre grey wheeled bin will be delivered for the collection of household waste, this bin will be collected on a fortnightly basis.  

For those properties assessed as unsuitable to receive the standard service, alternative provision will be offered.  

Whilst the new service requires that some existing bins be replaced, they will not go to waste. Many of the current brown bins are old and reaching the end of their lives and will be sold for recycling into new products. The newer blue bins used in the former Chester district area will be sold for reuse on other contracts where replacement containers are required. Income from the bins will be used to offset the cost of the contract.

Philip Fellowes-Prynne, Chief Executive, May Gurney said, “We are delighted to be working with Cheshire West and Chester Council to provide its recycling and waste collection service. We have the expertise and experience to help them deliver their targets and look forward to delivering a high quality service that not only helps residents recycle as much as possible but helps the local environment, economy and community.”

High levels of customer service are at the heart of the new service. Performance priorities have been developed for the contractor which will include many of the key issues highlighted by residents.  These include; return of containers after collection, reducing missed collections and clearing of spills. If the contractor fails to address these issues it can result in financial penalty and loss of profit.   For those residents who may not be able to move the new containers, an assisted collection service will be available.

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