A CONTRACT for a company to take on waste disposal across Blackburn with Darwen is set to be confirmed.

Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board members are set to confirm the award of a new contract when they meet next week.

Soft market testing took place in October and November 2018 with interested parties to discuss both the waste disposal and recycling contracts.

A separate tender exercise for waste disposal was entered in to for a period of three years, commencing April 2020, with an option to extend year by year, for up to a further three years.

The scope of the contract included receipt, handling, storage, haulage and disposal of the council’s municipal waste, requiring the contractor to provide all the resources required.

Executive member for environmental services, Cllr Jim Smith, said: "The existing waste disposal and treatment interim contract with SUEZ is due to end on April 1, 2020.

"As a Waste Disposal Authority (WDA), the council has a legal duty to arrange for disposal of municipal waste from the borough, and hence a new contract is required.

"Discussions with Lancashire County Council on joint working opportunities for waste and recycling took place - their contract for disposal expires in 2025 - and a decision was reached for us to issue a short term interim waste disposal contract beyond 2020, to allow for the possibility of a joint procurement with Lancashire County Council for waste disposal beyond 2025.

"The Council received 2 bids in response to the contract notice by the closing date of July 25, from Bidder 1 and also Bidder 2.

"Following evaluation, it was deemed that Bidder 2 provided a non-compliant bid.

"The Executive Board recommendation is to award the contract to Bidder 1.

"The council was aware that the tender may only attract a small number of bids since the waste management companies who can provide the service needed are small in number as they would be required to have a site within or local to the borough, a landfill site and existing contracts into various waste disposal facilities across the UK.

"The council was not and is not in a position to provide a transfer station for the use of all interested parties, in order to attract more bids.

"The negotiated agreement of a slightly lower threshold of landfill diversion will not see any conflict with waste legislation.

"The current disposal price per tonnes varies between waste to energy and landfill.

"The council currently disposes of approximately 41,160 tonnes of waste per annum.

"If this same tonnage is disposed of in 2020/21 at the new negotiated rate within the contract, the costs are comparable to the costs in 2019/20.

"However, this comparison doesn’t take account of a likely 3 per cent price indexation increase that would have been incurred had the existing contract been able to be extended."

The awarding of the contract is expected to be confirmed by the council's executive board when it meets on Thursday.