Chorley's forgotten bins could cost refuse contractor

A new contractor took over refuse collection in Chorley in April
A new contractor took over refuse collection in Chorley in April
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The company which empties household bins in Chorley will have to reduce the number of collections which are missed out from its rounds – or face a financial penalty.

FCC Environment took over the contract for refuse collection on behalf of Chorley Council back in April.

Under the arrangement, the firm was set a target to ensure that no more than 30 bins were overlooked for every 100,000 collections of waste. However, during the first three months of the new operation, that figure stood at 66.

A meeting of the authority’s cabinet heard that, unlike the last time the waste contract in the borough was changed, the performance level had not caused a significant issue for residents.

But member for Streetscene Services, Adrian Lowe, said that a grace period to allow the new operator to settle in was now over.

“The target was dramatically slashed from the previous arrangement to make it more challenging [for FCC Environment]. Hopefully, we will see some improvements during quarter two or the company is likely to see penalties incurred [as per the contract],” Cllr Lowe explained.

FCC Environment was handed responsibility for rubbish collection after the council secured a deal which was £1.1m cheaper than their previous arrangement with waste firm Veolia. That company had been set a target of missing no more than 50 collections per 100,000 visits – it failed to empty 58 by that measure during the same period last year.

Papers presented to cabinet members suggested that the replacement of the entire fleet of waste collection vehicles as part of the new contract could explain the underperformance.

Initial teething problems and breakdowns were reported to have resulted in delayed or incomplete rounds on occasions.

In addition, there has been some reliance on inexperienced agency staff and workers have also had to familiarise themselves with new in-vehicle technology after a previous paper-based system for recording information was scrapped.

The council is now attempting to identify any “patterns” which might explain why some bins have been missed.

FCC Environment was approached for comment.