The roll out of Biffa’s seven-year collections contract with North Somerset begins today (1 March), allowing householders to recycle more materials at the kerbside. Biffa, which replaces Kier, was awarded the £50 million contract in July 2016 which could be extended up to 2037. The contractor saw off bids from rival firms Cory, FCC Environment, Kier and Suez (see letsrecycle.com story). Under the new arrangement, Biffa will roll out changes to kerbside collections by adding small waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) to materials it accepts at the kerbside. From today, garden waste will be collected from bins rather than the previous bag service, and for the first time food waste collections will also be rolled out to flats in the district. Bulky waste will be collected by national charity Changing Lives on a ‘trial period’ in order to reduce costs and increase reuse of items, while a commercial waste service will also be made available for small businesses to sign up to. Biffa will also roll out changes to operations, with collection crews given powers to record and take photos of missed collections, contaminated recycling boxes, double bins and instances of side waste. Refuse collection vehicles will also be fitted with 360-degree cameras to help reduce missed collections and increase collection crew safety, as well as real-time monitoring. HWRCs Biffa’s contract also sees it takeover management of North Somerset’s three household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs). The sites will now accept hard plastics and plate glass, but introduce charges for construction and DIY material from 3 April this year. These charges, along with changes to opening hours, are expected to save the council £225,000 per year.
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