Lancashire County Council Waste Shake-Up Could See 250 Jobs Lost

Global-RenewablesA proposed £8.5m waste services shake-up could see more than 250 jobs lost, after Lancashire County Council have asked Global Renewables to make significant savings for 2016/17. 

The proposals recommended by officers include changing the role of the waste recovery parks at Leyland and Thornton so that they no longer treat waste but instead operate primarily as waste transfer stations.

Residual waste will also no longer be treated at the two plants and an in-vessel composting line will be wound down.

Community work, including an environmental education service and community liaison, waste minimisation, development and communications programmes, would also cease under the proposals.

“The residual waste people put in their black bin bags would be transferred from refuse collection vehicles into larger loads and onto third party contractors to recycle or dispose of”

Head of waste management for the council, Steve Scott, told the Lancashire Telegraph: “The nature of the changes to treatment processes and the soft services provided by the company will require a major transformation of the company and its operating structure.

“The company will be required to make in excess of 250 redundancies in order to deliver this transformation.”

The redundancies, decommissioning and contract breakage costs are estimated to cost £4.5m, which will be covered by reserves, totalling £7.75m in the first year and £4.5m in the second.

The cuts were first suggested in November 2015 with original job losses thought to be circa 100.

A Lancashire County Council spokesperson said: “There will be no change to the way we deal with the recycling picked up from households, which accounts for the vast majority of the waste we currently recycle, and separate facilities will be put in place to continue composting any garden waste collected. However, the residual waste people put in their black bin bags would be transferred from refuse collection vehicles into larger loads and onto third party contractors to recycle or dispose of.”

In 2014 Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council terminated their £2bn, 25-year PFI contract just three years into the deal, announcing they have taken over the facilities and operating company.

The two councils took over ownership and responsibility for running the MRFs at Thornton and Farington after the 25-year contract with Global Renewables Lancashire Limited was terminated with the mutual agreement of the company, its shareholders and partners.

By restructuring the financing for the sites, the councils said they will jointly save more than £12m per year over what would have been the remaining 22 years of the
 contract.

The local authority currently has a recycling rate of around 47%.

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