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Municipal services contractor Verdant Group plc announced today that it has won a competitive tender with Rother DC...
Municipal services contractor Verdant Group plc announced today that it has won a competitive tender with Rother DC to provide street and beach cleansing, waste collection and recycling services.

The approximate contract value is£18.5m.

Scheduled to begin on 1 April 2007, the seven year contract will include wholesale changes to the current waste and recycling collection services across the district, described by one council official as 'our biggest challenge'.

This will involve implementing alternate week kerbside collection of residual waste from wheelie bins (currently weekly black bag collection); expanding residential recycling to include alternate week kerbside collection from recycling boxes; and establishing a wheelie bin-based green waste recycling scheme.

Expanding Recycling

Around 60% of Rother's 41,500 households currently use a single recycling box for waste paper only, and residents can also use any of the 36 'bring' recycling points in the council area. Rother DC is focusing on improving recycling performance, and plans to lift it from the current 16% to around 25% by November next year, 35% by April 2008, and 45% by the end of 2009. This performance uplift will be a key deliverable for Verdant, which has a strong record of recycling improvement for its council customers: Melton BC is now achieving a near-50% recycling rate since Verdant introduced a new wheelie bin-based scheme there two years ago.

Cleaning Roads and Beaches

Verdant will be responsible for cleaning over 700 kilometres of highways and verges across the Rother area, together with around 20 kilometres of designated amenity beaches. These include the award-winning beaches of Norman's Bay, Cooden Beach, Bexhill, Winchelsea and Camber Sands (the latter attracts up to 50,000 visitors a weekend in summer). Verdant experts are currently planning the service, including route mapping, task and time requirements, staffing and equipment needs, such as vehicles. The service is likely to employ at least 60 staff at the start.

Rother DC leader Graham Gubby said:

'The council is keen to ensure that not only do we continuously improve the quality of the services provided but that we also obtain excellent value for money on behalf of our residents. Rother has been acknowledged as the cleanest place in Sussex and one of the cleanest in the country, so I am very pleased that we will be working in partnership with Verdant to maintain and improve the high standards that have been set, and to assist the council in meeting the demands of its residents and central government for improved recycling. Verdant has been appointed following a very detailed and stringent selection process. The company met all our requirements, complies with industry best practice and offered the best all-round solution and excellent value-for-money for our residents.'

Roger Edwards, development director for Verdant, commented:

'Obviously, this contract win is fantastic news for us and continues Verdant's expansion in the home counties. But, more importantly, it promises to be great news for Rother's residents. The council's vision of more efficient and effective waste-related services, particularly in recycling, will require significant change to its traditional service delivery. That means a lot of change for local residents, but we're confident that they will respond positively and work closely with Verdant to implement the new schemes. We know we can make a real difference in Rother, with the support and help of local people.'

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