Merton’s cabinet approved last night (5 July 2016) the appointment of Veolia ES UK as the preferred bidder for delivering waste collection and street cleaning services for the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP), a joint initiative between Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston councils. They also agreed to appoint The Landscape Group (TLG) as the preferred bidder for delivering services across Merton and Sutton’s parks and green spaces, including cemeteries.
The recommendations considered and agreed by cabinet propose the introduction of wheeled bins following the successful 2015 wheelie bin pilot in Lavender Fields ward which saw an increase in resident satisfaction with 89% residents saying they were satisfied with the introduction of wheelie bins and 81% saying the streets were cleaner as a result. The recommendations would also see the continuation of weekly food waste and recycling collections; paper and card being collected one week and glass, tins and plastics the next, with the remaining non-recyclable rubbish being collected on alternate weeks.
The total savings are expected to come to over £2 million each year for Merton as part of a wider savings package across the four south London boroughs.
The new contract would see teams working across all four of the partnership boroughs on graffiti and fly post removal, emptying litter bins and collection of street sweepers’ sacks, gully cleaning, weed removal, litter bin repair and maintenance and there would be an emergency response team on hand to deal with any unexpected situations affecting public spaces. This approach directs resources to where they are needed much more effectively.
Merton Council cabinet member for street cleanliness Councillor Ross Garrod said: “Street cleanliness is important to us and to our residents and as a business-like council we are determined to keep our council tax low and give value for money to our council tax payers. Working with our neighbouring boroughs to bring in Veolia and TLG will mean that we can deliver a good service while saving £2 million per year. Our funding from central government is continually decreasing so we need to find ways of saving money while still providing residents with services.”