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Norfolk councils join forces to sign £230 million waste collection contract

A new household waste and recycling collection contract is due to start in April to cover West Norfolk and Breckland.

Serco has been operating in North Norfolk for the last year and will take on the additional service as part of a £230 million combined contract.

Residents can expect their collections to take place as they have done before as there are no proposed changes to collection rounds.

Teamwork: (from left) Sam Chapman-Allen, from Breckland council, Brian Long, West Norfolk and Nigel Lloyd, North Norfolk
Teamwork: (from left) Sam Chapman-Allen, from Breckland council, Brian Long, West Norfolk and Nigel Lloyd, North Norfolk

The contract will also see a new fleet of bin collection trucks and other vehicles rolled out to operate across all three council areas. These will include reduced emissions and hybrid vehicles.

Serco will also be collecting household general waste bins and recycling bins on alternate weeks, as well as offering a bulky waste collections service. In Breckland and North Norfolk the company will also undertake street cleaning, removal of fly-tipped materials, litter and dog bin management, and grass cutting.

The new contract is unique as this is the first time three Norfolk councils have jointly tendered for waste collection and associated services contracts and in doing so they have cut the costs of the process by sharing legal fees and procurement costs. The contract will initially run for nine years in North Norfolk and eight years in Breckland and West Norfolk, with an option to extend by up to a further eight years.

Working together means vehicles, staff and other assets can be shared and during the first year investment will also be made into shared IT systems, so real-time service information is available to residents and it is easier for people to book additional services online, such as garden waste collections.

Cllr Brian Long, leader of West Norfolk council said: "Working jointly has meant we can offer an improved service and take advantage of cross-district collection rounds. This drives greater efficiency and lower emissions. The contract also includes some electric and hybrid vehicles helping us towards our goal of carbon neutrality."

Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, cabinet member for Environmental Services and Public Protection, added: “We know how important the waste and recycling collection service is to our residents. This new contract will use the same routes as the current one and, I’m pleased to see, all current bin crew have transferred to the new contract. The same crew who have worked so hard during the pandemic will continue to collect your bins on your usual collection day.

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Breckland Council's leader, commented: "The new Serco waste contract is a great example of collaboration with our local government partners, ensuring a new deal that will deliver an even better service than we already receive, at a best-value price. “

Cllr Nigel Lloyd, portfolio holder for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Environment at North Norfolk Council, added: "I am delighted that by partnering with other councils North Norfolk will be able to provide improved refuse collection services, reduce our carbon footprint and save costs for our residents.

Regional director for Serco, Annette Joyce, said: "Having successfully delivered waste, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance for Breckland Council since 2005, we are looking forward to expanding upon this success with the award of this new shared services contract with these three councils. We are delighted to continue our investment in Norfolk and bring further improvements for the residents and communities in the coming years whilst providing real value for money.”

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