A NEW waste and recycling contract that will save four councils an estimated £30million over the next decade was signed on Wednesday.
Representatives of Eastbourne Borough, Hastings Borough, Rother District and Wealden District councils, officially confirmed the agreement with Kier Environmental Services at the Towner Gallery, in Eastbourne.
East Sussex County Council was part of the partnership.
The innovative project is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, serving almost 200,000 residents across 550 square miles.
As well as providing enormous savings, the contract will offer residents a better level of service, with people in the partnership area being able to recycle more types of waste more easily than ever before.
Residents in Eastbourne and Wealden will be the first to benefit following the introduction of the new service from April next year, with Hastings following in July. Rother will follow from April 2014.
The move is the largest example of joint work between the authorities, as councils look to find savings during the difficult financial climate that has seen large reductions in their government grant settlements.
Kier’s environmental business won the circa £12 million per annum contract through a competitive tendering process. The contract has an optional ten year extension.
Councillor Gill Mattock, chair of the joint waste committee, said: “This is a fantastic success story and a terrific testament to the benefits of joint working. The signing of the Joint Waste Contract will prompt other councils up and down the UK to look more closely at opportunities to work in partnership with neighbouring authorities, particularly in the area of waste collections and recycling. I am very proud that Eastbourne, Hastings, Rother and Wealden are at the forefront of this new approach.”
Rother District Council member for waste and recycling Cllr Tony Ganly said: “This is an excellent example of councils, whatever their political leadership, working together to not only deliver savings to the tax payer, but also a better service.
“This signing event is seen as the start of a long term partnership between the five Councils and Kier Environmental services for the benefit of our communities.”
Councillor Keith Glazier, ESCC’s deputy leader and vice-chairman of cabinet, said: “I welcome the signing of this joint waste contract. The county council has worked hard with the four partner authorities to introduce these improved services and ensure that substantial savings to the tax payers of East Sussex will be realised. This contract will provide a huge boost to the recycling rate of the county, making the way we manage waste even more sustainable.”