RECYCLING: Council sends recycling to Northern Ireland
A council which previously declared a climate change ‘emergency’ is having household recycling processed more than 300 miles away in Northern Ireland after a previous provider went into liquidation.
Redcar and Cleveland Council only had about 48 hours to find a replacement for Ward Recycling Limited after it recently ceased operating.
It subsequently signed a short-term agreement with the Re-Gen waste management group, based in Newry, Northern Ireland, with a 12 month contract up until March 31 next year later being awarded to the firm.
Ward Recycling Ltd was registered in Northallerton and has a materials recycling facility in Middlesbrough and a fibre-sorting plant in Hartlepool creating recycled paper.
It recorded a pre-tax loss of more than £1m in its last published accounts in April last year and had warned of difficult trading conditions.
Winding up proceedings against the company began after it stopped trading and it is now listed by Companies House as being in liquidation.
Ward Recycling Ltd, which also provided kerbside recycling services, had other contracts with local councils, who have either had to seek a replacement or take services in-house.
Redcar and Cleveland Council’s decision to award a contract to Re-Gen was taken under ‘urgency provisions’.
Councillor Cliff Foggo, vice chairman of the council’s growth, enterprise and environment scrutiny committee, said the new contract was a “bit more expensive”, but there had already been an increase in the proportion of items that were being successfully recycled with fewer items being rejected due to contamination.
He said: “They [Re-Gen] have an immaculate processing plant in Northern Ireland and recycle for people all over the country.”
Cllr Foggo said there were only a limited number of firms available to take on recycling contracts.
He said: “We had to find a contractor in a very short period of time – about 48 hours.
“Because this was an emergency procedure and only a year’s contract was subsequently awarded we will go out to tender again towards the end of this year for a new contract to be issued for about three or four years.”
A report said three companies were considered, with Re-Gen said to offer the best value for money.
It said: “Due to the sudden and unexpected demise of the previous contractor and the urgent need to secure service delivery, the usual forward plan notice requirements could not be met and the decision was made in accordance with special urgency provisions.”
Councillor Glyn Nightingale, cabinet member for resources, said: “This was a major achievement in ensuring that our recycling didn’t pile up and it is important that we commend the activities of council staff in being so quick off the mark.”
On its website, Re-Gen describes itself as a dynamic family owned and managed business and states its Newry plant operates 24 hours a day, processing more than 1.5m tonnes of waste.
Redcar and Cleveland Council declared a climate emergency in March 2019 and has put measures aimed at creating a zero carbon borough at the forefront of its recently published corporate plan.
:: Ward Recycling Ltd has no connection with Donald Ward Limited, which provides bulk metal recycling and waste management services.
Words: Stuart Arnold, Local Democracy Reporter
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