Stirling waste services cost rise about long-term gain

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THE City of Stirling is paying more for waste services but says it will save money in the long term.

The council voted at its June meeting to extend Suez Recycling and Recovery’s three-year contract for another year to August 2020, despite costing $5.2 million above what was budgeted.

Suez won the contract in 2016 for waste transportation and will now be responsible for transport and sorting.

City infrastructure director Michael Littleton said there were changes to waste management processing techniques during the contract period, which allowed more waste to be diverted from landfill.

“The costs associated with the increased sorting and recovery component of the contact has been offset by savings to the City’s waste disposal fees,” he said.

“The overall offset has meant a more efficient and cost effective process, while continuing to divert increasing amounts of material from landfill.”

Councillor David Lagan said he was worried about the increased costs for homeowners and the tender was “too far-reaching”.

“It seems to be this never-ending spend. I’m seeing costs blowing out, I’m not happy about it,” he said.

Cr Keith Sargent said if they did not renew the contract it would have to be readvertised, so this would allow another year to prepare for the next tender.

Mr Littleton said the contract would “continue to deliver notable benefits to the community”.

“The contract to date has enabled the City to not only divert an additional 12,000 tonnes per annum away from landfill, it will save the City a further $800,000 in the coming year,” he said.

“These types of initiatives have enabled the City to achieve a 56 per cent diversion of waste from landfill which makes it one of the most effective waste recyclers in metropolitan local government.”

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