Problems hit Biffa ‘dream contract’

Tuesday November 8th, 2011

An emergency waste collection plan has been put in place just three weeks into a ‘dream contract’ between Biffa and a partnership of East Hampshire District and Winchester City Councils.

The contract, worth £32m, saw Biffa take over waste collections across Winchester and East Hampshire on 1 October. From 17 October the company started rolling out a new integrated cross-border waste and recycling collection service.

The eight-year contract was designed to save the councils up to £2m per year. East Hampshire is expected to save £846,000 whilst Winchester can expect to see a saving of almost £1.4m.

But the councils have received a substantial number of complaints from residents who have not had their waste and recycling collected, forcing the councils to put an emergency plan in place to collect accumulated waste.

A reorganisation of collection routes, brought in by Biffa, has been blamed for the missed collections as well as the crews’ lack of local knowledge. This is despite the fact that approximately 90 staff who used to work for the councils’ previous collection contractors – Veolia in East Hampshire and Serco in Winchester – transferred to Biffa.

The new routes have meant that some households have had their collection days changed. Residual waste and recyclables are collected on alternate weeks and garden waste is collected with residual waste. A monthly glass collection has also been introduced.

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