Recycling and waste services to return to council operation

Biffa has been running the waste and recycling services since 2017.

Biffa has been running the waste and recycling services since 2017. - Credit: Archant

Recycling and waste services will be brought back under local control next year.

North Somerset Council agreed to end its commercial contract with Biffa and establish a council-owned company to deliver the services from April.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors debated whether to continue with the current contract, partner with another organisation or run the services in-house.

Councillors decided the best option for residents was to establish a trading company to run the services.

Cllr Bridget Petty, executive member responsible for recycling and waste, said: “It’s really important that our residents have the confidence that the council will continue to provide effective recycling and waste services and that staff, who will transfer over to the new company, will be supported through the transition process.

“We believe that the best way to deliver the quality service we all need and deserve is to create a company that has North Somerset at its heart.

“We want an excellent and reliable recycling and waste collection service for our residents and having an external provider has not always given us the flexibility we want to respond to the needs of our area.

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“We appreciate and value the staff who work on our collection rounds. Their response during the pandemic has shown to all our residents that we have a great team of people out there in all weathers doing their best to deliver a reliable service.

“We’re committed to supporting them to continue to provide a great service to local people.”

Recycling and waste services include the household kerbside collections and operating the three recycling centres in Weston, Backwell and Portishead, which have been delivered by Biffa since 2017.

The council will work with Biffa to ensure a smooth transition to the new operating arrangements under the North Somerset Recycling Company, which will be designed to prioritise resident experience and work proactively in neighbourhoods.

Any profits made by the company will be used to support the council’s priorities and benefit local people.

How residents use the service, and the day on which they get their collections, will stay the same for the time being.