A report published today (March 29) by 4R Environmental that analysed 65 tenders between 2008 and 2012 found that 51% of procurement for recycling collection services resulted in kerbside sort.

Meanwhile 28% was awarded to single-stream co-mingling and 21% resulted in two stream systems.

In only 29 cases was there a genuine competition between systems, resulting in 59% of authorities choosing kerbside sort and 31% opting for two-stream.

Only three out of 29 tenders that did not restrict the collection method resulted in single-stream co-mingling. Where kerbside sort was an option (45 of 65 procurements), 73% of contract awards resulted in this system being implemented.

Commenting on the findings, report author Andy Bond said: “Senior managers at local authorities who are considering their procurement options might be surprised by these findings and that they will almost certainly benefit from allowing the most open procurement system rather than prescribing this at the outset.”

“The evidence from competitive procurements is that single stream is not as economically competitive as other collection systems.”

Defra is currently consulting on revisions to the 2011 waste regulations in England and Wales 2011, which might result in mandatory requirements for separate collections of paper, glass, metals and plastics.

Maxine Perella

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