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‘Dramatic change’ in market sparks Tamworth meeting

By 30/06/2021News

Tamworth borough council is to discuss future arrangements for recycling in the town at a meeting next week, as its joint services contract with Biffa is set to end next year.

Tamworth said its contract with Biffa is due to end in 2022

The council said that it “urgently” needs to look at the way it recycles due to the changing market and increasing disposal costs.

Tamworth says the market for dry recycling has changed dramatically across the world and countries which purchase recycling waste now demand much higher quality of materials.

“The cost of disposing of mixed dry recycling in the current format has therefore increased significantly,” it explained.

The council said changes could mean residents will have to further separate material at the kerbside.

Cabinet members will therefore meet on 8 July to discuss how quality of recycling can be improved while minimising the cost of the service as much as possible.


Under the current system, residents have a residual and dry mixed recycling bin collected on alternative weeks, and a separate garden waste bin.

From July 2020, Tamworth said it would no longer collect bagged dry mixed recycling due to high levels of contamination.

The council recorded a 40.4% recycling rate in 2019/20, according to Defra statistics, and serves a population of around 76,000 residents.

Food waste collection services were dropped by Tamworth in 2014 as part of cost-cutting measures (see story).


Tamworth borough council has delivered waste services in partnership with Lichfield district council under a shared arrangement since 2010.

The current joint service’s contract with Biffa for the disposal of dry mixed recycling is set to come to an end in March 2022.

As the waste service is operated jointly with Lichfield district council, the recommendations will be considered in parallel by the Lichfield District Council Cabinet members, which will discuss it at their next meeting on 6 July.

‘Not straightforward’

Cllr Daniel Cook, Tamworth borough council’s cabinet member for economy and waste, explained that the next year remains uncertain and the council is “not sure what that will look like”. He said that residents may be asked to separate recycling by putting card and glass into another bag or bin.

“It’s not a straight forward issue and there’s a lot for us to consider when debating it next week,” – Daniel Cook, Tamworth council

He commented: “The existing contract for the disposal of the dry mixed recycling comes to an end in March 2022 and the procurement exercise has shown that we urgently need to look at the way we recycle. The market for dry recycling has shifted dramatically, and a lot of this is down to the levels of contamination within that recycling. The market demand is now for higher quality waste.

“This has already been looked at through our scrutiny committee process twice and there are now a range of options for us to consider.

“It’s not a straight forward issue and there’s a lot for us to consider when debating it next week.”

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Source: Waste Managment