An update on waste and street-cleaning for residents, February 2023
Following a decision in October 2022 not to renew our existing contract with Veolia ES (UK) Ltd for street cleaning and bin collections across the borough, we wanted to ensure residents are up to date with progress.
On Monday 20 February 2023 the council’s Cabinet decided that work would commence on building an in-house function to start in April 2025, after determining that the council needed “full control and flexibility” over service delivery in the future.
Bin collections will continue to be contracted out, with a new supplier contract starting in 2025 at the same time as the new street-cleaning service.
Watch Councillor Ross Garrod, Leader of Merton Council and Councillor Natasha Irons, Member for Local Environment, Green Spaces and Climate Change explain the street-cleaning and waste collection decision
Merton street-cleaning and waste collection decision
We know street cleaning is a top priority for our residents. That’s why we’ve made the decision that, from April 2025, all local street-cleaning will be brought back in-house and delivered directly by us as your local council.
Last October, we made the decision not to renew the current contract with Veolia for bin collections and street cleaning across the borough when it finishes in 2025.
Since then, we’ve been looking at the options for the future, and listening to your views on how we can improve services.
This is why, at the same time street-cleaning is brought back in-house in 2025, we will launch a new contracted service for bin collections.
In the meantime, Natasha Irons, Cabinet Member for Local Environment, Green Spaces & Climate Change has been working on additional service improvements that will start in the coming months.
By making these changes to our services, we’re aiming to re-build a waste service that’s based on the needs of our community, that meets the environmental challenges we face; and keeps Merton clean.
More than two-and-a-half thousand of you responded to our consultation ahead of this decision, and we want to thank everyone who took part.
We’ve been listening to your views and in the next few months, we will be improving the way recycling and rubbish is collected from flats above shops, and piloting our new mobile recycling centre which will bring the services we offer at Garth Road closer to you.
We’ll keep you updated on progress, and you can find more information on the council’s website.
- March 2023: The council will start two processes – one to start building our inhouse street-cleaning service, and another to begin procurement of a new bin collection contract.
- April 2025:New services will start, taking over from the current Veolia ES (UK) Ltd contract.
Consultation with residents
The decision follows a six-week consultation with residents on the future of waste services in October 2022, and a subsequent analysis of different models for delivering street cleaning and bin collection services.
The consultation showed that overall, satisfaction with bin collections is increasing, and people are generally happy with the service they get. However, satisfaction with street cleaning has declined consistently since the contract was put in place.
Improvement to services
Working with Veolia, we’ve made a lot of improvements over the past year – including introduction of overnight patrols and investing in new street sweeping vehicles to build our resource. But we want to go further, and our new service delivery model will allow us to do that.
- Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel Monday 13 February 2023
- News: London Borough of Merton proposes bringing street-cleaning back in-house, 6 February 2023
Update October 2022
On 10 October 2022, Merton Council’s Cabinet agreed not to renew the current street cleaning and waste collection contract with Veolia in 2025. The decision follows a review of the contract by the council, which is also being undertaken by the three other boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP). There will be no impact on any current arrangements. Your waste and recycling collections, plus street cleaning will continue until it is replaced with the new service in April 2025.
Following Cabinet’s decision, we launched a six-week engagement programme asking people to give their views on the current street cleaning and waste collection service and what they thought should come next for the service. The Keep it Clean consultation closed on Tuesday 22 November, and received over 2,000 responses. A series of pop-up roadshows, public online meetings and resident meetings also took place at the beginning of November, giving people more opportunities to share their views.
Results and feedback will be analysed and available in January.
Your questions answered
What does this mean for rubbish and recycling collections?
There will be no impact on any current arrangements. Waste and recycling collections will continue as they are to 2025, and the new service will be ready to replace the current one when the contract ends.
Why has the council opted to exit the contract?
Following a review of the contract and listening to residents’ concerns, the council’s Cabinet has decided that the current contract has not met the standards expected by both the council and our current waste contractor.
Will there be a reduction in any services?
Current services will remain in place until 2025, there will be no reduction to any services. The aim is to provide better services.
When will the council have a new service ready?
The new service will be in place by April 2025.