South Scotland

Contract row could hit Dumfries and Galloway recycling sites

Recycling centre Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption Renewi runs 11 recycling centres across Dumfries and Galloway

A waste recycling firm is threatening to suspend services at refuse centres it runs across south west Scotland.

Renewi announced earlier this year its intention to end a loss-making Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Dumfries and Galloway Council.

It claimed no "meaningful progress" had been made in talks and said it would suspend services from 3 August.

The council said it was disappointed the company had decided to take such "irresponsible action".

The local authority entered into a PFI contract with Shanks Dumfries and Galloway in 2004.

Image copyright Renewi
Image caption The company announced its intention to terminate the PFI contract earlier this year

Shanks, in turn, entered into an operating sub-contract with Renewi to operate the services involved within the contract.

In March this year Renewi announced its plans to exit the contract within the upcoming financial year - claiming it had lost about about £3m over the previous 12 months.

It said it had "repeatedly sought to engage" with the council in the following months but it had refused to discuss the issue.

Renewi said it had sought to withdraw from the contract "responsibly and with the minimum of disruption to residents and employees".

However, it said it now had no choice but to suspend services in Dumfries and Galloway from 3 August unless "meaningful progress" could be made.

'Contingency arrangements'

The company operates 11 sites in the region at Beattock, Lockerbie, Annan, Lochar Moss, Lincluden, Gatelawbridge, Sanquhar, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Whithorn and Galdenoch.

Facilities at Newton Stewart and Stranraer are directly operated by the council.

The local authority said that since Renewi had announced its intention to terminate the contract, it had been in regular contact with Shanks.

It said it was disappointed Renewi had decided to "unilaterally accelerate" the timetable.

"It is not clear whether this threat by Renewi UK Services Limited to suspend services will materialise," a council statement said.

"The council will advise on its contingency arrangements in the coming weeks through our social media, the council's website and the local press - should it be apparent that the threat will be carried out."

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