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Council's waste services getting revamp to win trade

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | Politics | Published:

Powys County Council will re-design its trade waste and recycling services to compete with competitors who are undercutting its prices.

The council's trade waste service is provided to 1,400 businesses around the county, with an annual turnover in excess of £1 million.

For many years the council has been the sole provider of collecting waste and recycling from businesses around the county at a fixed rate.

The authority has found that in the year 2016/17 there was an increase in cancelled customers, due to business closures, outstanding debt and difficulty getting to certain areas of the region.

However, a report by cabinet member for recycling Phyl Davies has found that the main reason was due to the private sector undercutting the service currently charged by Powys.

In the report, it states that the undercutting is evident in the north of Powys, where a new competitor has, "entered the market using an aggressive marketing technique to gain custom.

The report states: "As with many local authorities, competition has now increased within the marketplace, which means that the Council needs to compete in order to avoid losing customers, particularly the larger ones, leaving the council to pick up waste and recycling from the smaller businesses."

As well as collecting trade waste, the council provides a permit scheme for over 160 businesses to bring their recycling to local centres and sites, however the rest of businesses either have contracts with alternative providers or are using the household service illegally.

To tackle the decline in waste customers, the council has proposed to re-design its trade waste system to become more flexible in its charges and prices.

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The report states that a different level of service and pricing could be applied to businesses dependent on their type and location.

It goes on to say that the move will "give the council the opportunity to compete with the private sector and generate income for the authority, whilst maintaining a quality customer service."

A delegated decision was made on April 9 and provided the proposal is not called in before April 17, the re-design will take place.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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