If you are a Greater Manchester resident and would like to know more, this is a list of question and answers regarding the announcement about the waste and recycling Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract.
Why have you had to make these changes?
Local government austerity challenges have been prevalent in the UK news and media, and Greater Manchester is no different. Significant budget savings have had to be made year on year.
From 2014/15 to 2016/17, the GMWDA have been able to use reserves built up as a result of the construction of facilities under the contract being delayed. The use of reserves has meant forecast rises in the levy payments from the district councils to the GMWDA over this time period have been reduced.
However a predicted levy rise in 2018/19 of 7.6% increase is not considered to be affordable to our local councils, and hence significant savings have to be made.
What will the savings be for the GMWDA?
We have forecast immediate savings of £20 million per year. These are mainly from refinancing, due to being able to access cheaper loans through much lower interest rates. That works on the same principles as a household mortgage. In total,through operational savings and savings made once we have re-procured the services a total saving of £37 million per year are estimated from April 2019.
If you are making all these savings will I get a reduction in my council tax?
Not directly. Council Tax is set by your local council, who are faced with severe financial pressures. It is expected that these savings will thus enable your local council to be able to keep services that otherwise could have been cut, or that cuts to services are likely to be less severe.
What happens to all the recycling and general waste collected from households in the interim?
The interim arrangements protect all existing services to allow for reprocurement, all the end destinations for recycled material will be managed through Viridor Waste (Greater Manchester) Ltd.
The GMWDA is committed to an open and transparent approach in relation to what happens to residents waste and recycling and any changes will be updated via the Recycle for Greater Manchester website.
Will my bins still be collected?
Yes, there will be no impact on your household bin collection from these changes, these will continue to be collected by your local council.
Will I still be able to put the same things in my bin?
Yes, there will be no impact on what you can put in each bin from these changes, these will continue to be collected by your local council and brought to the current facilities for further treatment.
Will the Recycling Centres be closing?
No, there will be no impact to the Recycling Centres, these will continue to operate and be open from 8am to 8pm in British Summer Time and 8am to 6pm (opening times at some sites vary) once the clocks go back at the end of October. Please check the Recycle for Greater Manchester website for details.
How will the GMWDAs move to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) affect this?
From the first of April 2018 all the current GMWDA duties, obligations and liabilities will pass into and under control of the GMCA. That change is effectively an administrative one and will have no impact on these agreements and / or the functionality of future contracts.