Council pays off former contractor to end long-running dispute

The dispute involved a “growth in bin numbers” which the council refuses to reveal more about
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

Credit: Waltham Forest Council
Credit: Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest Council has privately settled a long–running dispute with its former waste contractor over the number of bins collected.

In 2011, contractor Kier was awarded an eight-year waste and recycling contract for the borough worth £90million.

However, a council decision approved last month shows there has been a long-running “disagreement” over a “growth in bin numbers”.

According to a summary the council is required to publish online, deputy leader Clyde Loakes has decided to end the dispute by paying an undisclosed amount.

The decision document said: “The only alternative is to not agree to make the payment to Kier.

“This would lead to the disagreement between Kier and LBWF continuing further and this is not recommended… The agreement looks to minimise costs to the [council].”

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The council claims it is “unable to divulge” how much it will pay Kier due to commercial and legal confidentiality.

A council spokesperson even claimed the growth in the number of bins is commercially confidential.

A Kier spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have reached an agreement with Waltham Forest Council regarding the waste management contract we held between 2011- 2019.”

When Kier won the contract in 2011, wheelie bins replaced recycling boxes and smaller black bins were introduced to encourage recycling.

However, Waltham Forest failed to achieve its goal to recycle 45% of the borough’s household waste by 2015.

Although recycling rates rose from 8% in 2000/2001 to a peak of 35% in 2014/15, they have since reduced.

Urbaser was awarded an eight-year contract to manage the borough’s waste and recycling collection in 2019.

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