East Cambs set out some of the improvements they expect once waste control is brought back ‘in house’ from April

Veolia are not to have their contract with East Cambs Council renewed when it ends next year. The co

Veolia are not to have their contract with East Cambs Council renewed when it ends next year. The council believes it can collect household waste cheaper itself. - Credit: Archant

Residents of East Cambs are to be invited to pay a one-off charge of £25 for an extra blue recycling bin once the household waste service comes back under council control.

The entire waste programme will be taken back from contractors Veolia and run by the council’s own trading arm East Cambridgeshire Trading Company (ECTC) from April.

Among other proposals under discussion is a new policy to deal with waste collections from private and unadopted roads within East Cambs.

“Collection at these properties can incur a significant amount of time for the collection crews,” says the report.

“Furthermore many of these properties are located down roads in very poor condition and there have been instances where the waste service has caused damage to its vehicles incurring vehicle repair and maintenance costs.

“These roads are not normally built to highway standards; often there are soft verges and overhanging trees.

“In addition several roads must be reversed down for considerable distances, sometimes in the dark, with no safe place for an employee to operate as a reversing assistant to see the vehicle safely back.”

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The council’s regulatory services committee are looking at other improvements and changes to waste management once it is brought back ‘in-house’.

The council has a project board to oversee progress, development and implementation of the changes.

All Veolia staff will be offered the option to transfer to the new trading arm and the council says the plan is to adopt Veolia policies, procedures, terms and conditions “since these have a sharper commercial edge”.

In an officers’ report to councillors it is reported that specialist legal advice has been sought to ensure a smooth transfer.

Councillors will be told that a tremendous amount has been done ahead of the switch and “the outputs from this work will create the ‘operations bible’ of adopted or

amended Veolia procedures and processes”.

On April 1 the council wants to “hit the ground running and remove the risk of

operational service delivery failures”.

The council says it is looking at low performing recycling areas and is working up solutions to ensure higher compliance.

The report also wants changes to the street cleansing service which officers say “is not properly structured on measured quantities of work requirements to deliver the standards necessitated by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.”

The council says all vehicles required to deliver the waste and street cleansing services from April have been confirmed with orders placed with the vehicle manufacturers except for one 7.5 tonne caged vehicle required for the street cleansing service.

A large chunk of the report is devoted to fly tipping and officers noted that Veolia had fallen short of clearing all reported incidents of fly tipping.

“Subject to being validated this is not acceptable because the duration for clearance is three working days,” says the report. “In comparison, top performing services

work on a target of two working days for fly tipped materials on publicly owned land.”

Councillor Julia Huffer, waste champion for East Cambridgeshire District Council, said earlier this year: “We believe that direct provision of services is definitely the way ahead. It will give us greater control over services and flexibility to make future improvements.

“We will no longer be paying a contractor’s profit margin and will be able to reinvest savings to provide better services for local residents.”

Veolia, whose initial seven year contract was awarded in 2008, will end its association with the council next year following completion of a four year extension.