Below target recycling contractor fined £10,000By Laura Nightingale
December 21, 2012
HART District Council has fined its recycling contractors Veolia nearly £10,000 for not meeting its targets this year.
Missed bins, excess residue waste and a high percentage of household waste not being recycled, reused or composted were some of the reasons for financially punishing the firm.
Veolia Environmental Services has delivered contracts in Hart and Basingstoke since last October and it was agreed when the company took over that the performance of the service would be reviewed at the end of the first year.
In the event Veolia did not achieve a Key Performance Indicator target, such as the number of missed bins, the contract allowed the council to issue a financial penalty in the form of a £50 default notice.
To date, 192 notices across both districts – worth a total value of £9,600 – have been issued.
Patricia Hughes, corporate director at the council, said: “Imposing these notices is standard practice for councils.
“Typical reasons why notices were imposed include residue waste, percentage of waste recycled and the number of missed bins. We are very pleased with how the contract is running, their attitude is a holistic approach.
“But we have to remain vigilant and keep the contractors on their toes. The notices can prevent small problems from turning into a big problem.”
A new report, entitled Review of the Hart-Basingstoke Joint Waste Recycling Service, showed that Veolia also received 116 complaints from homeowners in Basingstoke and 62 complaints from residents in Hart in its first year.
This total of 178 complaints was more than double the 83 complaints made by homeowners across the two areas between October 2010 and 2011. A large proportion of the complaints were associated with crew attitude, not returning bins, boxes being thrown and driving issues.
In Hart, 11 people complained about glass spillages and 10 people reported problems of blocked access and bins not returned.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hart District Council have been operating a joint waste and recycling service, and the majority is carried out through a joint contract operated by Veolia and managed by a joint team based at Hart.
The team was formed from staff in both authorities and is responsible for service development and contract management, promotion of existing services, the introduction of new initiatives and education on the benefits of recycling.
After the first 12 months, the joint service had delivered savings of £1.65 million across both authorities. The report showed recycling in Basingstoke had increased by around 3% between June 2011 and this June, but in Hart it had remained relatively steady.
A number of future projects suggested to improve the service include aligning recycling promotion and education with the national curriculum to encourage children to recycle and reduce waste as well as promoting litter reduction. The aim is to encourage recycling at home and at school.
Greater promotion at community events on the reduction of contamination, closer links with council climate change initiatives in both areas and carrying out customer surveys were also suggested.