The Executive Director of Commercial and Corporate Services submitted a report that sought a view on the most appropriate option for the future delivery of the Council's kerbside recycling service following a major collapse in the global market for the resale of recycled materials.
The current contract for the Councils kerbside recycling collections had been in place for almost five years and was scheduled to run until April 2017.
The new system had proven extremely popular with residents. Over recent months, the end commodity market for the re-processed materials had suffered a significant collapse.
The current contractor had fallen into dispute with their local materials re-processor and as a result had indicated that the contract was now unsustainable and was attempting to pass on the increased cost to the Council.
The contractor had also implemented a policy of pre inspection of bins prior to collection, which had resulted in up to 800 bins being left uncollected in a single day. This caused the Council significant reputational damage and embarrassment, with many hundreds of residents complaining about the service and significant media interest being generated.
The contractor had offered the Council a revised financial proposal for the continuation of the existing arrangement, with an alternative proposal to work with the Council to transfer the service in house, should the Council prefer to do so.
The report outlined in further detail that there were two options available:
Option 1 - Accept the revised proposal and continue with the current collection arrangements; and
Option 2 - Bring the service in house (This is the recommended option).
That the decision to end the relationship with the existing contractor and that the kerbside recycling contract be brought in house be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
Bringing the service in house is the option which provides the most cost effective solution for the Council, whilst ensuring continuity of customer service and protection against reputational damage and risk.