Weekly food collection and more recycling planned for Sutton

Plans for the provision of a new weekly waste collection service and the opportunity to almost double recycling capacity in Sutton have been approved by the borough’s Liberal Democrat council.

This follows council agreement to outsource waste collection and street cleaning services from next year as part of the South London Waste Partnership made up of the boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton.

Sutton Council has also joined with Merton Council in endorsing another contractor to carry out the maintenance of parks, cemeteries and ground maintenance in the two boroughs.

Under the arrangements accepted by Sutton Council

  • Veolia will be the recommended preferred bidder for the contract to provide a waste collection, street cleaning and winter gritting service across the four boroughs. Subject to similar approval by the other boroughs, the new service will start in Sutton in April 2017.
  • The Landscape Group will be the recommended preferred bidder for a contract to provide maintenance of parks, cemeteries and ground maintenance services to Sutton and Merton. Subject to approval from the other boroughs, the new service will begin in February 2017.

Sutton Council has agreed to the shared service approach with its neighbours following unprecedented Government cuts to the council’s budget. Currently Sutton has to save £31 million from its annual budget of £148.4 million.

The new contracts will reduce Sutton Council’s costs by £10.3 million in the first eight years. However the new arrangements will allow Sutton’s recycling rate to be increased from 37 per cent (2014/15) to 42 per cent by the end of the first year of the contract.

Once the appointment of the approved contractors has been approved by all four boroughs.  Subject to fine tuning, details of the new services are:

Contract One (Veolia) – refuse, recycling, street cleaning and winter gritting

  • A new weekly food waste collection which will mean less waste going to landfill, with  resulting environmental benefits. Food waste currently accounts for 40 per cent of residual waste in Sutton.
  • Increasing the amount of monthly recycling capacity per household from 480 litres to 810 litres. This includes a new smaller food waste bin collected weekly and an alternate-weekly collection of other recycling, with paper and card collected one week and tins, plastic and glass the next. The existing green recycling wheelie bin will be used to store paper and card, and a new recycling box will be provided for plastics, tin and glass bottles.
  • Residual waste (brown wheelie bin) will be collected fortnightly rather than weekly. At present around 40 per cent of brown-bin waste is foodstuff, so the additional recycling capacity will mean residents will be able to reduce significantly the amount of waste in their brown bins.
  • Garden waste collections for paying residents will be extended from nine months to twelve months a year. This will be collected in the same green and brown wheelie bin.
  • Street cleaning operations will be extended to 10pm from the current 6.30am start.

Contract Two (The Landscape Group) – maintenance of parks, cemeteries and ground maintenance

The Landscape Group will be responsible for the maintenance of parks, cemeteries and ground maintenance. Sutton Council will continue to own and manage borough parks and open spaces, while:

  • Local Committees will continue to make decisions about replacing or adding equipment to parks, such as play and gym equipment and benches.
  • Friends of Parks will continue to be involved, and will also monitor the standard of maintenance of our parks, alongside the council.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Lib Dem Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment and Neighbourhood Committee, said:  “We are working hard to manage the unprecedented Government cuts to our budgets, while also maintaining excellent services for our residents. The partnership with our neighbouring boroughs is an innovative approach to enable us to do that through weekly food collections and more opportunities to recycle.

“The new services will mean Sutton saves more than £10 million by 2025, as well as increasing significantly our recycling rate. We will do this by almost doubling the amount of recycling available to households in Sutton, including the new weekly food waste collection, which will help us go towards meeting the One Planet Sutton targets.”

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