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One million Londoners to receive harmonised recycling and rubbish collections

3 April 2017
  • £209m contract with Veolia will increase recycling rates, reduce confusion, minimise waste and save money
  • £26m contract with idverde will see parks and grounds maintenance services delivered across two boroughs

One million residents across south London are to receive a harmonised recycling and rubbish collection service.  The South London Waste Partnership, acting on behalf of the four boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton, has agreed a £209m, eight-year contract with Veolia following a competitive dialogue procurement process.  The contract formally began on Saturday 1st April 2017 but from today (Monday 3rd April) Veolia starts delivering a new-look collection service to households in Sutton (as well as an ‘as-is’ collection service in Merton).

In addition to recycling and rubbish collections, the contract with Veolia also covers street cleansing, commercial waste, recyclate material sales, winter gritting and vehicle management.

330 staff have ‘TUPE’ transferred over to Veolia’s employment from Merton and Sutton councils, who previously operated these services in-house.  Veolia is the incumbent provider of a range of environmental services in Croydon and Kingston, who will join the contract in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The roll-out of the new services will be phased over a two-year period, with Sutton the first borough to go live with the new ‘twin-stream’ recycling collection service from today.  This will see the introduction of a new separate weekly food waste collection.  Recycling will be collected on an alternate weekly basis (paper and card one week; plastics, glass, cans and cartons the next) and rubbish will be collected every two weeks.  Veolia will also be tasked with growing the subscription-based garden waste collection service.

The new recycling and rubbish collection service will be introduced in Merton and Croydon in October 2018 and Kingston in April 2019.

In a second ‘Lot’ to the Environmental Services contract, the South London Waste Partnership has appointed idverde as the provider of parks, grounds and cemeteries maintenance services across the two boroughs of Merton and Sutton.  This contract, worth £26m, started in February 2017, and has seen the TUPE transfer of 89 staff over to idverde.

Councillor Phil Doyle, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee said:

“These new contracts will deliver high quality services and save tens of millions of pounds – well in excess of the £30m savings target that was set.  Working together, the four boroughs have negotiated excellent deals with two commercial partners who bring huge experience and expertise to the table.

“When we started out on this procurement in 2015, there were some who doubted we would ever get to this point.  Recycling and rubbish collection in particular is such a sensitive and difficult service to be re-designing.  Doing this across four London boroughs, with three different political parties in power, was seen by some as too difficult.

“But the four boroughs of the South London Waste Partnership have once again worked together in an effective and business-like manner.  This sort of cross-party, cross-boundary working is going to have to become the norm if we are to achieve the more harmonised approach to waste collections that regional and national government are advocating.  The South London Waste Partnership has shown that it can be done.”

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President, Veolia UK and Ireland said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded the contract with the South London Waste Partnership and to continue working with existing clients in Kingston and Croydon as well as beginning new relationships with Merton and Sutton.

“Through the Partnership, we have the opportunity to harmonise services across the four London boroughs to deliver significant cost savings and high quality, reliable services that will boost sustainability and preserve resources.  As winners of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business of the Year, we look forward to the opportunity to put Veolia at the heart of these communities in south London and to support a more sustainable future for everyone.”

Nick Temple-Heald, Chief Executive Officer, idverde UK said:

“We are incredibly pleased and proud to be providing parks, grounds and cemeteries maintenance services across Merton and Sutton and welcome our new employees, who join idverde colleagues already providing these services in Kingston and Croydon.  It was a rigorous and challenging procurement process, but I’m delighted that a horticultural specialist such as idverde has been chosen.  With Veolia and idverde, the specialists in their respective fields, now delivering services across all four boroughs this procurement really has resulted in the best of both worlds for the residents of south London.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton councils have been working in partnership since 2003 to provide a variety of environmental services in a more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way
  • The Partnership has an outstanding track record of delivering value for money on behalf of local council tax payers through its ‘Phase A’ and ‘Phase B’ contracts, including successfully negotiating a waste treatment contract that will save £200m

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