Ashford, Maidstone and Swale councils – which work together as the Mid Kent Waste Partnership, have awarded the eight-year contract to SUEZ after a detailed joint tender process.
The new waste contract which will begin in March 2024, will introduce new technology and industry improvements, whilst retaining large parts of the existing service.
Cllr Martin Round – Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) Lead Cabinet Member for Environmental Services said:
The three partner councils have worked hard over the last couple of years to get this new contract in place.
MBC is pleased to continue to work with Ashford and Swale to deliver what is our biggest contract, and Suez provided a strong bid, showing enthusiasm to deliver the service bringing their considerable industry experience to Mid Kent.
As part of the contract, a new fleet of vehicles will be purchased including more smaller and narrow access vehicles. It will bring with it improved technology for vehicle tracking and the management of customer service requests, allowing the waste team to have full visibility of the service.
Cllr Round continued:
The new vehicles are being funded directly by each council and will help save costs. They will be modern and use electric bin lifts which will reduce the consumption of diesel dramatically, helping lower the services’ carbon footprint.
The new contract will also offer the chance to increase recycling rates across the three boroughs, improved efficiency of the collection routes, lower emissions vehicles and better technology to keep our residents up to date.
The total Mid Kent Waste Contract arrangement is for £19 million per year which equates to a cost of £5m for Maidstone Borough Council. This will be for the provision of waste collection and recycling services in Ashford, Maidstone and Swale as well as street cleansing in Ashford and Swale. Maidstone’s street cleansing service will remain in-house as part of the existing MBC waste team.
The new contract includes proposed improvements to the level of cleansing in rural and residential areas, as well as quicker response times to the removal of fly-tipping.
The current service will continue to be delivered by the Mid Kent Waste Partnership along with Biffa Municipal Ltd until the start of the new contract and the Partnership wish to express their thanks to Biffa for the last 10 years of service delivery.
All existing employees will transfer to the new contractor from the beginning of the contract in March 2024.