Merton considers south London solution to keep streets clean and cut costs

Merton could move towards a south London-wide solution to keep streets clean as part of the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP), a joint initiative between Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston Councils. The news comes as Veolia emerges from a joint procurement process as the recommended preferred bidder for delivering waste collection and street cleaning services across the four boroughs.

Wheellie bins1

Cabinet Member for Street Cleanliness and Parking, Councillor Ross Garrod and Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis

The recommendations would mean the continuation of weekly food waste and recycling collections; paper and card being collected one week and glass, tins and plastics the next. The remaining non-recyclable rubbish would be collected on alternate weeks. The recommendations would also see the introduction of wheeled bins.

In addition, The Landscape Group (TLG) has emerged as the recommended preferred bidder for delivering services in Merton’s parks and greenspaces, including cemeteries. The total savings are set to come to over £2m each year across the two contracts, as part of a wider savings package across the four south London boroughs.

The announcement comes following the successful wheeled bin pilot Merton carried out in 2015 in Lavender Fields ward which resulted in an increase in resident satisfaction with 89 per cent residents saying they were satisfied with the introduction of wheeled bins and 81 per cent saying the streets were cleaner as a result.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “The council’s top priorities are keeping the streets clean and council tax low. When we piloted wheeled bins people liked them and we’ve been looking for an affordable way to introduce them. I’m pleased that the preferred solution features wheeled bins.

“The proposed solution would mean a better, cleaner service for less money, helping us keep council tax low and protect services for the vulnerable. As a business-like council, we don’t want to miss out on considering this opportunity.”

The report will go to pre-decision scrutiny on 9 June where cross party members will have the opportunity to review the report before going to Cabinet who will review the recommendations in July and decide whether the solution proposed works for Merton. A final contract would be awarded in December, pending agreement from the four boroughs.


Notes to editors:

SLWP Phase C is split into two lots. Lot 1 includes waste collection and street cleaning. Lot 2 includes the delivery of parks and grounds maintenance, including cemeteries.

The SLWP’s Joint Waste Committee will meet on 7 June to consider whether to endorse the Preferred Bidder recommendations before going to each of the four boroughs’ committees. Preferred Bidder status will only be confirmed if all four councils agree the recommendations.