Issue - meetings

Recycling, Waste Collection and Street Cleansing Contract Performance Update

Meeting: 29/06/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 4)

4 Recycling, Waste Collection and Street Cleansing Contract Performance Update pdf icon PDF 725 KB

Wards: All


Report authorised by:Venetia Reid-Baptiste: Interim Strategic Director for Resident Services


Contact for enquiries: Doug Perry, Assistant Director Waste Management, Cleansing and Ancillary Services, 020 7926 1255,


Additional documents:


During discussion of this item the guillotine fell at 9.00 pm.


RESOLVED: That the meeting continue for a further period of up to 30 minutes.


The Cabinet Member for Sustainable Lambeth and Clean Air, Councillor Rezina Chowdhury, and Doug Perry, Assistant Director of Waste Management Cleansing and Ancillary Services, noted:

·           A new waste and recycling collector was appointed in October 2021 for six years with an option to extend up to a further eight years.

·           The new contract delivered £1m of savings per year.

·           The contract included increased social value to target local employment and apprenticeship opportunities, whilst keeping cleanliness at high standards.

·           Due to Covid-19, the contract started six months later than planned and coincided with the leaf-fall season, compounded by driver and loader shortages, which made delivery of services and performance challenging, however since the start of the contract a number of changes have been made and the Council was assured of improvement this year.

·           The Serco contract covered street cleansing, Lambeth housing estate cleansing to external areas, fly-tipping removal, and waste and recycling collections across all waste streams.

·           Lambeth aimed to assure residents received the best possible service and increased recycling.


The Committee next heard from Paula Vasquez, resident, as follows:

·           Some recent improvements had been seen, but there had been issues since October 2021.

·           Small items of litter were left around nearby shops, and lots of litter bins were left behind.

·           Collection times needed to be published on the website.

·           The lack of response to complaints was not good, which could take a week to come back, and some operatives were rude when doing collections.


The Cabinet Member and officers responded to questions as follows:

·           The contract was a self-monitoring contract with a client team of four people, using a series of monitoring techniques including street inspections, 360-degree CCTV, GPS tracking and analysis of requests and complaints to ensure the service is delivered to a high standard.

·           There was a monitoring plan and officers targeted areas of the contract, with operatives physically going out to undertake inspections, write reports, followed by meetings with Serco to conduct improvements.

·           The Serco contract was output-based, including intelligent deployment of resources to proactively identify roads requiring additional cleansing, and before had been input-based where roads had been cleaned twice weekly.  Where roads fell below acceptable standards, Serco had between two and 24 24 hours to resolve depending on the type of road. 

·           Inspection data would be used to reassign resources and cleaning frequency.

·           Smaller mechanical brooms could be used to get into pavement channels to clear weeds.

·           All residents were encouraged and could complain online which was reported to Serco and the Council, and Serco was expected to respond within 24 hours.

·           The Council had stopped using chemical weedkillers last year and was looking to encourage biodiversity.  15 streets notified the Council that they wanted to take control and the Council did undertake examinations on a regular basis.

·           A review was underway to ascertain how weeds would be environmentally and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4