Decision details

Options Appraisal for the Future Treatment of Wirral's Kerbside Collected Garden Waste

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Report will outline options for securing a long term solution for the processing of garden waste. Approval will be requested for an ‘interim arrangement’ in order to pursue the best value option in the longer term. The report will contain exempt appendices due to the inclusion of commercially sensitive information.


Councillor Brian Kenny introduced a report by the Head of Environment and Regulation that outlined the options for the processing of all Wirral’s kerbside collected garden waste post March 2014.  Whilst the Council could legally make a charge for the collection of garden waste it had a statutory duty to dispose, or send for treatment this waste at no additional cost to householders. 


It was recommended that the Council joined an existing green waste composting contract between April and October 2014, currently let by Sefton Council, to enable it to take part in a collaborative procurement exercise with all other Merseyside districts.  This would ensure Wirral enjoyed the “economies of scale” that a large procurement project was likely to attract and limit the impact of increased processing costs that this industry had experienced over recent years. 


Appendix 1 to the report related to the commercial position regarding the existing contract and, therefore, contained exempt information in accordance with paragraph 3 of part 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and would be considered in Part 2 of the meeting, once the press and public had been excluded.  (Minute No. 104 refers)

The Cabinet was informed that a two-year collaborative green waste processing contract had been let by Sefton Council in November 2011 and had been extended until 31 October 2014.  The contract had been awarded to White Moss Horticulture, which was a family-owned business and producer of horticultural products based in Kirkby.  All Merseyside districts were entitled to use this contract at any time, subject to being “invited” by the contractor and operating within limited tonnages.  The Council had been formally invited to join this contract from any time up to the expiry date.

The direct delivery gate fee price was highly competitive, due to the larger scale of the contract, and the location of the White Moss Horticulture facility to the Merseyside districts.  In addition, White Moss Horticulture was keen to work with the Council, as it was aware Wirral was part of the joint Merseyside procurement proposal.

Officers recommended acceptance of the White Moss Horticulture offer to join that contract upon the expiry of the current contract.  This would enable Wirral to fully evaluate the outcome of the joint procurement exercise, and if desired, compare the future gate fee prices to an in-house option in the spring next year, in order to determine Wirral’s future route for garden waste processing.

The Sefton Contract only allowed for the “receiving and treatment” element of the process, based on a direct deliver gate fee price.  It was impractical for Biffa to direct deliver to this site, due to the 1.5 hour estimated turnaround time.  Therefore, it would be necessary for Wirral to tender for the bulking and haulage of the garden waste for the same period (April to October 2014).  The value of this contract would; require Wirral to seek five quotes.  Officers had received a quote from White Moss Horticulture which had provided an indication of the approximate cost. 


(1)  the Head of Environment and Regulation’s recommendation to pursue the preferred procurement option as detailed in the report be approved;


(2)  the Council’s full involvement in the proposed collaborative procurement exercise for Merseyside districts through a variant tender or variable pricing methodology (allowing Wirral the flexibility to determine its long-term options) as detailed in the report be approved;


(3)  the Head of Environment and Regulation be instructed to carry out a feasibility study of delivering composting services in-house through the Parks and Countryside Services section as outlined in the report; and


(4)  the Head of Environment and Regulation be instructed to report the outcome of the collaborative procurement exercise and feasibility study, once the gate fee prices of the joint procurement exercise are known. 

Report author: Mark Smith

Publication date: 19/11/2013

Date of decision: 07/11/2013

Decided at meeting: 07/11/2013 - Cabinet

Effective from: 27/11/2013

Accompanying Documents: