Delivering a streamlined waste collection service and protecting local jobs

A new consolidated household waste collection contract will improve resource recovery, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide better customer service, while protecting local jobs.

Following a competitive procurement process during 2023, the ACT Government has signed a new household waste collection contract with J.J. Richards and Sons Pty Ltd, trading as JJ’s Waste & Recycling.

“Currently waste collection services for the ACT’s 180,000 households are split across four different contracts. These contracts include the red, yellow and green bin collections, the supply of the bins, the bulky waste collection service and the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection pilot in Belconnen, Bruce, Cook and Macquarie,” said Acting Deputy Director-General Transport Canberra and City Services Bruce Fitzgerald.

“The new contract will consolidate the four contracts and allow the ACT Government to streamline contract administration, providing a single point of contact for all household waste and recycling matters and a better customer experience for Canberrans. The contract will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resource recovery outcomes, with increased engagement with households via education programs to help reduce contamination in household waste streams.

“Importantly, to support local jobs, the new contract has a requirement to offer employment to the employees of any outgoing contractors providing this service who consent to be contacted, with the same terms and conditions, as their existing arrangements. We acknowledge this would be a stressful time for the workforce and we are committed to ensuring employment and working closely with them through the transition period and beyond.

“We will be working closely with all parties to implement a transition plan. This will include open communication about the process and employment with the new provider. An information/drop-in session has been organised for employees on Wednesday 10 April at JJ’s Waste & Recycling’s depot in Hume. We are working with unions, relevant stakeholders and the outgoing contractors to make staff aware of the session.

“The new contract is also expected to create new jobs in the ACT, particularly as FOGO is rolled out across Canberra.

“Many Canberrans will already be familiar with JJ’s Waste & Recycling as they are the current service provider for green waste and FOGO pilot collections in the ACT. JJ’s Waste & Recycling will continue to provide this service under the new contract as well as assisting with the future, city wide roll out of FOGO.”

About the contract and next steps

The competitive procurement process assessed tenderers on a number of criteria including continuity of employment and transition management, capability and capacity to deliver the services, environmental management, work health and safety, innovation and price.

The new contract is for an initial service term of eight years, with possible extension up to another two years.

The new contract includes a mobilisation period of around 13 months to allow time for JJ’s Waste & Recycling to acquire new collection vehicles, recruit and train both existing and new staff and set up and implement services.

“There are no changes planned to the current collection calendar, however, the new contract allows for minor adjustments upon service commencement, which is scheduled for April 2025. Any change will be communicated to impacted residents well in advance,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

“The ACT Government would like to acknowledge the great work which has been performed by the current service providers, Veolia and SULO, and thank them for their many years of commitment to the ACT community. We would also like to show gratitude for the continued high level of service which will be provided during the transition period.”

Working towards zero emissions by 2030

The tender process asked industry to embrace innovation and join the ACT Government on its path for waste collection vehicles to transition to zero‑emissions by the mid-2030s.

“The use of zero emissions vehicle technologies in the waste sector is emerging. The ACT Government has ambitious targets to reduce emissions and introduce zero emissions vehicles. Zero-emission waste trucks are not only cleaner and quieter but will cut emissions as they run thousands of kilometres around the city each year,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

“The new contract will see improvements in greenhouse gas emissions through increased operational efficiencies and flexibility, including the provision of a zero emissions vehicle. Data will be gathered around the effectiveness and operations of the zero emissions vehicle to inform the future rollout of zero emissions waste vehicles across the ACT by the mid-2030s,” Mr Fitzgerald concluded.

Quote attributed to Mr Joe Richards, NSW/ACT General Manager for JJ’s Waste & Recycling

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the ACT Government and local residents to provide a high standard of service. As a part of this transition, JJ’s will construct a second state of the art depot in Hume and will introduce a fleet of new vehicles with the latest safety and emissions standards and waste collection technology,” said Mr Richards.

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