Sheffield Council bosses locked in lengthy talks to find savings before ending waste contract

The deal with Veolia was due to end in 2036
The deal with Veolia was due to end in 2036
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Sheffield Council bosses started talks to review the waste contract with Veolia as far back as September last year.

Sheffield Council bosses started talks to review the waste contract with Veolia as far back as September last year.

The Star has learned council leader Julie Dore instructed council officers to look into the possibility of securing further savings from the 35-year deal - due to end in 2036.

But after months of talks between the authority and waste bosses, the two parties were deadlocked and the decision was taken to end the contract.

Its understood the current 280 employees would be transferred over to a new firm by April 2018 at the latest.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for Environment at Sheffield Council, said: “Our waste management contract with Veolia is a complex and high-value arrangement, under which both we and Veolia are required to keep all commercially-sensitive matters confidential.

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore instructed council officers to review the possibility of ending the waste management contract with Veolia in September

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore instructed council officers to review the possibility of ending the waste management contract with Veolia in September

"As such, a report to the Leader, rather than the full Cabinet, approved council officers the option of exploring ending the Veolia contract. It must be stressed that this was not a decision to end the contract – it was a decision to begin the review of this option.

“This preparatory work has now been done, which means a report can and will be brought to Cabinet next week, concerning the option of ending the Veolia contract and the reprocurement of waste services.

“No decisions have yet been made, and providing the best service we can for Sheffield taxpayers remains at the heart at what we do.”

Sheffield residents are divided on the news and raise many questions over the announcement.

Council bosses have outlined a number of way they feel they could save money on a new contract.

It is proposed that households who currently have a 55 litre blue box would have it exchanged for a 240 litre brown bin. This bin would be used for recycling glass, cans and plastic bottles. The existing 140 litre blue bin would be provided for recycling paper and card.

Sheffield residents like Terence Timmins criticised the move to sign a 35-year contract.

He said "Beats me why you'd give a contract for 20 years plus when governments can change every five years? Asking for trouble."

Dean Willoughby added: "Who in their right mind would sign a 35 year contract with someone expecting nothing to change?"

Chris Bragg compared Milton Keynes to the situation in Sheffield.

He said: "Just moved back to Sheffield from a council-run service that collected black bin waste and recycling - a far wider range of things recycled too including green/food waste - both on a weekly basis with just one bin for free. It has a 60 per cent higher recycling rate than Sheffield and lower council tax."

Liz Catling called for a return of the green bin.

"I would like to see a green bin for all my garden waste, as we had before for free. I don't see why we should have to pay extra to recycle," she said.