Sheffield leaders poised to end bins deal

Binmen - Veolia bin collection in Sheffield.
Binmen - Veolia bin collection in Sheffield.
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Sheffield Council bosses are considering ripping up the city’s waste contract with provider Veolia.

The Star understands the council would be expected to pay a figure running into millions of pounds to end the contract 19 years early.

The current contract was signed in 2001 and is not set to expire until 2036.

At present, Veolia is responsible for collecting and disposing of waste, running household waste recycling centres, managing and operating the Energy Recovery Facility at Bernard Road and the district heating network, picking up bulky items and the collection and disposal of abandoned vehicles.

However, proposals are set to be discussed by Sheffield Council’s cabinet next week where members will consider alternative solutions to provide waste services in the city.

Coun Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment, said the council was ‘operating in very tough financial times’ .

“Our contract with Veolia is no longer meeting our needs and is no longer compatible with the tough financial landscape in which the Government is forcing us to operate,” he said.

The firm’s 180 Sheffield workers, who would be affected by any changes, would be consulted with, said Coun Lodge.

Waste services would ‘continue to run smoothly’ as a priority until a new contract is signed, he said.

A Veolia spokeswoman said the company was ‘ proud to stand by its operational record’ in Sheffield.

“Veolia has also always been happy to discuss different service options with the council over the course of our partnership and will continue to work with the authority to deliver efficient services,” the spokeswoman said.

“We obviously recognise that this statement by the council to discuss alternative service options will be a concern to our employees and will do our utmost to support them and keep them informed as this matter progresses.”

At the cabinet meeting next Wednesday, councillors are also being asked to consider changes to the way in which waste and recycling services are provided.

The main changes being proposed include replacing the blue box with an additional recycling bin; charging for new and replacement black bins and green bins and changing collection times to 6am to 9pm, Monday to Friday.

Other proposed changes include collecting bins at flats on weekends between 7am and 4pm; introducing the collection of plastic bottles for recycling at flats and the introduction of shared black bins or recycling bins in some areas.