Eastbourne’s new in-house waste service heralded a “resounding triumph”

Eastbourne Borough Council says residents’ response to its new in-house waste service has been “overwhelmingly positive”.

South East Environmental Services Limited took over from Kier on June 29 after Eastbourne withdrew from a waste partnership with neighbouring authorities.

The new service, named Environment First, employs 100 staff and has increased the number its of waste and recycling vehicles with additional mechanical sweepers and HGVs with “significantly greater capacity”, it says.

A decision to change the council’s recycling collection point to Hailsham from Uckfield will save over 37,000 road miles, it says.

I’m incredibly proud of the council project team that worked so hard and diligently to achieve such a seamless transfer of service

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “To bring such an important and complex contract back under our control demanded military style precision and planning.

“I’m incredibly proud of the council project team that worked so hard and diligently to achieve such a seamless transfer of service.

“In anyone’s language the launch of the new waste and recycling service has been a resounding triumph and I’m delighted that our residents will be the ones who benefit most.”

Customer support

The latest software being used provides managers with up to the second analysis of every collection round, ensuring the most timely and informed service delivery.

There is also a much greater focus on customer support, the council says, and ensuring any issues arising are acted upon quickly and efficiently.

Teams will take “rapid action on enforcement issues” such as graffiti and fly-tipping and increase the understanding of residents and businesses in what their waste and recycling responsibilities are.

Councillor Dow added: “The service has been running four weeks and the response so far from residents has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Inevitably, when you’re collecting bins from 45,000 households there will be the occasional issue, the key will be how well we perform in resolving these and that’s where people will see a marked difference from what’s gone before.

“It’s also terrific to see our Environment First teams looking the part in their new uniforms and our vehicles showing off the superb new livery we’ve introduced.”

The reported success comes after Jeremy Corbyn said Labour councils would be expected to bring waste services back in-house. In response to this, the Environmental Services Association said Mr Corbyn was putting ideology ahead of evidence.

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