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Serco appointed preferred bidder for £650m Sandwell environmental services contract

Date: 12 Aug 2010

Serco Group plc (Serco), the international service company, is pleased to announce that it has been appointed by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (Sandwell) as preferred bidder for its new Waste Improvement Plan contract. We will provide refuse collection, recycling, and street cleaning services, and deliver waste processing and disposal, including the construction of a new waste transfer station. The 25 year contract is expected to commence in November 2010, and is valued at around £650m.

Serco's innovative approach to this contract has resulted in the development of an operational solution which responds to the needs and aspirations of Sandwell and its residents. Under the contract, Serco will increase recycling rates, and significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill through the development of an integrated waste processing and disposal solution using best-in-class local partners. This will help the council to meet Government recycling targets and reduce costs such as landfill taxes. We will also improve services to residents in Sandwell by promoting street cleanliness across the borough and improving bin collections.

We will work closely with the council towards helping it achieve its aims to have by 2020 at least 60% of all waste recycled or composted, 35% of waste turned into renewable energy and less than 5% sent to landfill. The service is also expected to deliver a number of cost efficiencies throughout its term.

To meet these goals Serco will introduce a number of initiatives which will include increasing the number of mechanical street sweepers, and introducing recycling bins to all households with kerbside access allowing residents to recycle more materials including plastics and cardboard. We will also introduce a food waste recycling service in 2011.

Having carried out substantial public consultation during the bid process, Serco will be responding with the introduction of innovations including our 'space saver' initiative, allowing residents choice and flexibility around bin sizes according to their needs while maintaining weekly refuse collections.

We will also incentivise Sandwell residents to sustain a better environment by introducing a fund to reward recycling efforts. A board selected from local stakeholders will indentify potential community projects for funding such as the creation of community allotments and wildlife areas, and the refurbishment of parks and play areas.

As part of the contract, the council's existing environmental services team will transfer to Serco, providing the opportunity for long term job security and for further training and development.

Councillor Derek Rowley, Cabinet Member for Safer Neighbourhoods, welcomed the appointment of Serco and said: "This is great news for both Sandwell and Serco but, most importantly, it's great news for the residents of Sandwell who will benefit from cleaner streets and the introduction of environmentally friendly state of the art recycling services. Waste services in Sandwell have needed to be modernised for some time and this contract means within a few years we will be delivering one of the best services in the country which is exactly what the borough's residents deserve."

Christopher Hyman, Chief Executive of Serco Group, added: "Serco is delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder for this important contract and we look forward to making substantial improvements in these important services for the Borough Council and the residents of Sandwell. This contract will represent a significant development for our environmental services capabilities where we have a strong track record of innovation, and for the delivery of high quality and efficient services."


For further information please contact Serco:
Charles King, Head of Investor Relations T +44 (0) 208 334 4122
Dominic Cheetham, Director of Corporate Communications T +44 (0) 208 334 4334
Marcus De Ville, Head of Media Relations T +44 (0) 208 334 4388

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Last Updated: 29 May 2015