FOI request reveals that new recycling system is costing £400k/year more than before

SA Updated
FOI request reveals that new recycling system is costing £400k/year more than before

A freedom of information request has revealed that the current Super Recycling System is costing £400,000 a year more than the previous service. 

A Freedom of Information Act request, submitted by a member of the public who wished to remain anonymous, asked: "How much does this 'super recycling service' cost us, the tax payer, in financial terms? The boxes, bags, staff, vehicles compared to the previous brilliant system?"

The response, from South Hams District Council, reads: "The cost of the new service to date is £3,800,000, this includes the cost of new vehicles, the construction of a new transfer station, the new recycling containers as well as implementation costs. 

"The annual cost of the new service once rolled out to all households is roughly £400,000 more compared to the previous service."

South Hams District Council, in response to a recent FOI request for information about the new recycling service, said: “The information that was provided as part of a Freedom for Information Request, was accurate. However, it is important to note that these costs are not the result of the Council contracting out their recycling service.

“The additional £400,000 per year, is the cost of changing the service from the old blue and clear sack collection, to the new Devon Aligned Service. South Hams District Council was planning to bring in the new service whether they kept the service in house or appointed a contractor. This is because the Devon Aligned service provides massive environmental and efficiency benefits.

“In short - The £400,000 annual revenue cost quoted in the FOI, would have been incurred with or without the contract with FCC.

“By appointing a contractor to run the council’s Devon Aligned service, South Hams is actually predicted to save up to £3 million of revenue costs across the lifetime of the contract (eight years), compared to the cost of the Council running the new service themselves in house.

“The £3,800,000 cost mentioned in the FOI, is a one off capital cost to purchase vehicles, containers, build a new transfer station and bring in the new service and does not relate to the ongoing annual revenue costs of running the service. The £3,800,000 capital cost would have been incurred by the council, with or without the contract with FCC. This is not a cost incurred by the council because they appointed a contractor.”

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