New waste collection contract due to bring in £3m windfall

A BID to streamline refuse collections across North Yorkshire has gone live as four cash-starved councils are in line to land a £3m windfall in extra income.

The Northallerton-based waste management and recycling company, Yorwaste, has been awarded the contract for collections from homes and businesses across Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire and Craven over the next three years.

The firm has guaranteed both the markets which the recyclable materials will be sold to and the price that the councils can expect for the next three years - meaning the authorities are due to pick up the seven-figure windfall.

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The district councils covering Richmondshire and Hambleton have spearheaded the drive to share services nationally amid the Government’s austerity drive, and already had a waste collection contract with Yorwaste.

However, a new contract to extend collections into the Harrogate district and Craven went live this week to ensure the most cost-effective service is secured.

Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment, Councillor Michael Harrison, said: “The increased revenue that this contract will bring the council is very welcome at a time when local authority budgets are under severe pressure.”

The amount of waste material that is due to be collected across all four local authorities will be about 27,000 tonnes each year.

However, the new contract is also aimed at the increasing the different types of waste that will be picked up by collection teams.

While paper, glass, cans and plastic bottles are currently collected in blue boxes and bags, the new scheme is expected to see cardboard and plastic containers added to the list.

Yorwaste will also collect materials which are left at recycling sites in villages and towns across the districts.

Richmondshire District Council’s green living spokeswoman, Coun Jane Parlour, said: “This scheme sees both the community and the environment benefit – we can recycle more so less goes to landfill. And we earn more which we can then pass back to the community in the form of other initiatives. We hope that in time other North Yorkshire councils will join this partnership making it even more cost-effective.”

The move to share key services, ranging from IT provision, environmental health and planning to waste collection, in Richmondshire and Hambleton has led to £2.5m in savings over a three-year period.