A NEW joint deal to dispose of “residual waste” in Helensburgh and Lomond has been struck by Argyll and Bute Council and the neighbouring authority in West Dunbartonshire.

The four-year contract with Barr Environmental Ltd is expected to save Argyll and Bute around £98,000 this year and £397,000 overall.

A council report says the authority could also link up with four other councils to secure a permanent energy efficient solution for waste disposal.

Inverclyde Council, and South and East Ayrshire Councils, could also be involved in the project to develop a long-term waste solution, which is expected to take around 18 months.

The details of the scheme were laid out in a report for a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee.

Council executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: “Argyll and Bute Council have been working to develop a strategic waste partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council that will jointly procure a long-term landfill ban-compliant energy from waste solution for residual waste.

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“This partnership would also involve Inverclyde Council and potentially South and East Ayrshire Councils.

“The procurement of a long-term residual waste solution will take around eighteen months to complete.

“To support the development of the long-term joint procurement, an interim procurement with West Dunbartonshire covering residual/bulky waste from Helensburgh and Lomond and waste from the Islands was proposed.

“Operating under the authority of a pre-existing minute of agreement, officers prepared a procurement strategy and tender pack.

“The tender was released to the market for a six-week period in February 2021. Evaluations of the responses took place in March.

“A consensus relating to the technical and commercial results of the evaluation were agreed between officers from both local authorities on April 9, 2021.”

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Ms Flanagan continued that after the tender phase, two submissions were made for residual and bulky waste elements, from Barr Environmental and ENVA Ltd.

In the end, Barr Environmental were decided as the better candidate. It is estimated that the deal will save the council nearly £400,000 over its duration.

The contract will now run until the landfill ban imposed by the Scottish Government begins in December 2025.

Ms Flanagan added: “Compliance with the landfill ban represents a significant and enduring cost challenge to the council.

“Engagement with the Scottish Government has created an agreement in principle between both parties to work together to support the transition to a compliant solution.

“The joint interim procurement has been a worthwhile exercise, securing certainty in cost and achieving a saving for the council through fair and open competition.

“Importantly the procurement exercise demonstrates to the Scottish Government and the market place that both the council and its partners are committed to developing a joint residual waste solution.”