Merton Council to Ditch Veolia as Waste Contractor

Move comes after concerns about quality of street cleaning in the borough

Signs notifying residents of change bin collection dates

October 3, 2022

Merton Council has confirmed it plans to exit its contract with Veolia company when it comes to end in 2025. It is part of a group of four South London councils set to ditch the waste contractor.

Veolia has run bin collections and street cleaning in Merton, Sutton, Croydon and Kingston since 2017. The four councils make up the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP).

Merton Council will be the first to make the decision not to renew its contract next week. It comes eight months after Merton issued Veolia with a Service Improvement Notice (SIN) following “significant and ongoing concerns” over the quality of street cleaning in the borough.

Andrea Keys, partnership director for the South London Waste Partnership (SLWP), said: “Veolia’s proposal to extend the contract reflects the significant changes in the wider market since it was signed five years ago, and, following a detailed options appraisal, the outcome shows that the partners may benefit from new specifications that reflect borough-specific service priorities and performance standards.”

Merton Liberal Democrat councillor Anthony Fairclough welcomed “steps in the right direction” to end the borough’s reputation as “mucky Merton”. But he is concerned the service could be affected in the next three years.

Cllr Fairclough said, “We now have nearly three years where the Council’s waste contractor knows it’s on the way out. They are not going to be motivated to improve performance, council bosses will need to work hard to get the services we pay for.

“We’ll continue to push both the Council and its contractors to get decent services and real value for money. And for a genuine commitment to include people in decisions about the new services.”

Merton Council’s cabinet will meet on Monday, 10 October from 7.25pm at the Civic Centre in Morden.


Tara O'Connor - Local Democracy Reporter