Richmond Council awards new waste and recycling collection contract

Published: 22 Jan 2020

After a significant and robust procurement process, Richmond Council is pleased to announce that a new waste and recycling collection contract has been awarded to Serco.

The new 10-year contract is due to commence on 30 March 2020.

Whilst there are currently no plans to change household collection days, a review of service provision may require some minor adjustments to deliver operational efficiencies and improvements.

Under the new contract, Richmond’s non-recyclable waste will continue to be delivered to energy-from-waste incinerators, which generates electricity for the National Grid. Richmond’s food waste will also continue to be processed by anaerobic digestion, which produces gas for the National Gas Grid along with a compost-like material known as “digestate” which is used as a fertiliser on farmland.

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, said:

Waste and recycling collections are some of the services provided by the Council that residents value the most. It’s important that we can provide a service that is both efficient and cost effective. 

“The Council has to make significant savings over the next few years; this major contract will not only offer improved service delivery, a new fleet, retained weekly collections and greater efficiency, it can also be delivered at a cost close to the existing Council budget provision.  

“The Council will work with Serco to continue to improve our recycling rate across the borough – identifying ways to work with residents to encourage them to engage in our already comprehensive service. Serco will also be involved in assisting the Council in delivering its climate change objectives”

Serco has rich experience delivering municipal waste services to 21 local authorities around the country.

Managing Director for Serco Environment Services Ronnie Coutts added:

“We are delighted to have been selected by Richmond Council to deliver these essential services over the next 10 years. Our new fleet of EURO 6 refuse collection vehicles are more fuel efficient, meaning lower vehicle emissions, they will also be fitted electric bin lifts and use other carbon reduction measures to ensure the collection service is delivered in as environmentally friendly way as possible.”

The new EURO6 refuse collection vehicles, will be in place by the Autumn, will be fitted with a range of safety features including 360-degree cameras,  an ‘auto stopping system’ which automatically apply the vehicle brakes when movement is sensed during reversing and a cycling safety system, all designed to  ensure safe working practices are maintainable at all times for the benefit of Richmond residents.

With the exception of the garden waste vehicles all other vehicles will have two separate compartments. This means more than one type of waste can be collected on each vehicle, resulting in less vehicles on the road.

Following commencement of the contract, Serco will work with the Council to develop innovative initiatives aimed at improving the collection service and customer experience. For example, by linking into vehicles “In Cab” computer system to the Council’s Customer Service team will have access to real time updates to issues and will be able to track service progress helping them provide better advice and support to residents who need it. These technologies will also enable more effective monitoring of service delivery.