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New contract boost for Household Recycling Centres

Published
13.07.2020

Next week cabinet will be asked to approve plans to renew the contract for running the county council’s five Household Recycling Centres.

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The Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) are currently run by Ubico on behalf of the county council with sites at Hempsted, Wingmoor Farm, Pyke Quarry, Oak Quarry and Fosse Cross. The site at Swindon Road in Cheltenham, although also run by Ubico, is separate and the responsibility of Cheltenham Borough Council.

The option which is being recommended to cabinet is to award a new five year contract to Ubico from August 2021 with an option to extend to seven. This offers a number of advantages as contracting with Ubico supports joined up working with the district councils, and the direct award would also save the council money as it would avoid the need for a lengthy and costly public tender process.

The sites are performing well with over 60% of all waste taken to the sites being reused or recycled. The aim is to work with Ubico to increase recycling and reuse at the HRCs still further, exploring the markets for additional recycling opportunities as new outlets become available, with site staff working with the public to increase the sorting of the materials brought to site so the amount of waste recycled can be maximised.

The council declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and its ambition is to achieve a carbon neutral county by 2050. Recycling makes a key contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as making things from recycled items typically requires less energy than using natural raw materials.

The council has continued to invest in the sites with upgrades, including adding modern, efficient, mobile ‘squashing’ machines at Hempsted, Pyke Quarry and Oak Quarry in the last two years as part of the council’s £1.2million modernisation programme for its recycling centres.

The HRCs accept a wide range of materials for recycling however visits currently have to be booked in advance so social distancing can be maintained to help keep both staff and site visitors safe. Residents are therefore asked to make full use of the door-to-door recycling service provided by the district councils which include food waste collections and are reliable and convenient to use.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member responsible for waste said: “Increasing recycling in the county continues to be a top priority for the council and with cabinet’s approval we will continue working with Ubico to achieve this. A key feature of the new contract will be to work with them on a programme of continuous improvement for our sites.

“I’m particularly pleased with Ubico’s flexibility and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their staff worked on district council kerbside collections when our sites had to be closed and they have responded so well to support us and our residents in the re-opening of our HRCs.”

Papers for the cabinet meeting can be viewed online here.

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