Cash-counting council bosses could turn to garden centres in a bid to boost Norfolk’s recycling rates.

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With Norfolk County Council making £155m of cuts over three years, the authority is looking to keep down the costs of running the 20 recycling centres in the county.

The contract to run 19 of them, currently held by May Gurney, will come to an end in two years and officers have been planning what to do once that runs out.

One option considered is whether “new approaches”, as well as recycling centres, can be used to provide recycling.

Officers have carried out what is known as soft market testing to see what options might be available against a backdrop of a reduced budget.

And one possibility which is being explored is whether the county’s garden centres could become providers of recycling services - with families able to head to them to recycle green waste.

Officers are recommending that councillors agree to enter what is known as a service level agreement contract with Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (NEWS), which is part of the council’s own Norse Group.

That deal, officers say, would give a flexibility for recycling to be transferred to other “non-traditional” providers, such as garden centres, as services develop.

Bill Borrett, cabinet member for environment and waste, said: “Our research has shown that traditional tightly drawn contracts may not give us the type of flexibility we are looking for to help us achieve that.

“At a time when we are looking to take advantage of every possible chance to deliver better value for money services for council taxpayers wherever we can, this approach certainly looks promising.”

The council’s environment, transport and development overview and scrutiny panel will discuss the issue when it meets tomorrow.

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • George, Norse is effectively part of the County Council. It is part of the public sector in disguise. Jobs are welcome but not at all costs. Ingo, Parish Councils already can get recycling credits, but residents don't always like where bins are sited, hence poor recycling take up where it makes sense to do it....I.M.B.Y. !

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • If May Gurney has any sense, it'll pull out of the King's Lynn centre completely, before NCC and Cory start poisoning it's workers with all that nasty ash that's gong to be blowing around next door.....

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    User Removed

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • When will I be able to recycle glass in my bins? That is the question

    Report this comment

    telawrence

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

  • Every garden centre I have visited in Norfolk does not have nearly enough land to carry out any sort of garden waste processing. Mind you we are very close to County Hall and there is lashings of land there not being used where one could drop grass clippings. There's a money-saving idea.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • At face value this sounds like a good idea, however the management of these recycling bins is terrible. The can recycling bin at the Greenfields Community centre on the Fiddlewood Estate for example has been full to over flowing since before Christmas. If this recycling of cans is so lucrative, why is this bin being left full with the resulting dumped cans being taken as rubbish???

    Report this comment

    el84

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • Yet another service for Norse! Privatisation through this company only earned us £2 million last year, should County Councils be going down this road? Why would garden centres want to do the councils statutory responsibility for them, and how many staff would be needed to patrol the scheme? Best try to get London to stop penalising people taking their d.i.y waste for recycling, that would be my priority.

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • Mr. Borett wants all OUR lucrative waste, but looks to hive off the green waste. Far better idea would be for parish councils to arrange a private contractor to site bins, collect all OUR valuable aluminium, steel, glass, paper and high pressure plastic waste for the benefit of the local community. Mr. Borett can then continue to import waste from outside Norfolk to feed the unwanted waste burner.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • If el84 cares to look at the recycling container there will be a phone number on it or you could contact your parish clerk. Don't moan if you're not prepared to do anything.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk Lad

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

  • On the face of it this is a great idea, if there are enough garden centres to host these facilities. I also feel that more use could be made of many smaller sites to collect a broad selection of waste, it is backed up by a sound logical argument. But my logic does not account for the more ignorant sections of our society which would make it expensive to implement. Bedoomed, some privatisation of public contracts has resulted in improved service at less cost. Privatisation is a foul word to public sector organisations because these organisations know how inefficient their current practices are and the private sector loves it because these immature markets offer plenty of margin for profit. Hence garden centres can host a waste bin at a nice rent to justify a car park attendent thereby clamping down on pre existing loitering. The private waste handler can collect and process the waste without the risk of maintaining a secure site. There is also a carbon reduction through shorter journeys for householders to deliver the waste to the bins, offset by more lorry movements to service the bins.

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    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

  • bedoomed, if 65.000 people go ahead with a good example and one organises a local green bin collection, we can probably employ a person to do this. We would benefit not unwanted waste burners who pollute the countryside and our health.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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