Bin collections and street cleaning services will now be provided by a company formed by Peterborough City Council
The announcement made at last night's Full Council meeting comes 16 months after the council revealed it was to terminate its contract with Amey, the company contracted to provide those environmental services in Peterborough.
The contract was terminated more than 16 years before it was due to come to an end. The decision was made, the council said, due to recycling rates in the city only reaching 45 per cent - compared to Amey’s target of 60 per cent - and because it wanted better value for money.
The new company will be launched with the help of former council leader Cllr Marco Cereste who rejoined the cabinet last night with the portfolio for waste and street scene, replacing Gavin Elsey who held the role until he lost his seat in the recent local elections.
Council leader Cllr John Holdich said: "These services are so important that I believe the council should have control over how they are provided and to what standard.
"I want to see every penny we spend in this area providing high quality waste and cleansing services. This company will also give us the opportunity to earn income to support other council services.
"On Wednesday morning at 5.30am I will be going down to the depot to meet with Amey staff and talk to them about this announcement."
A new household recycling centre is being built in Fengate and Cllr Holdich said he had asked council officers to look at opening it in the evenings for residents to use, to see how it can be made more accessible through technology, and to investigate another recycling facility in the the south of the city.
"It is clear that our residents are fed up with fly-tipping and the litter in this city. I agree with them," he added.
"But I want to do more than this and I want members of this council to help. I am asking the relevant scrutiny committee to set up a task and finish group to review all of our waste policies, our response to fly-tipping and to offer advice on this to the cabinet."
As the Peterborough Telegraph reported last week there were 10,500 reported incidents of fly-tipping in 2017.
Cllr Cereste, who served as leader between 2009 and 2015, said: "I'm delighted to be back in the cabinet. I've been offered a post that plays to my strengths.
"It's a huge issue in the city. I am confident I can get to grips with it, but whether I can resolve it is another issue."
Cllr Holdich also announced last night that a working group will be set up to look at "whether our planning policies are robust enough to ensure good air quality in our city."
Reading his statement to the Council Chamber he concluded: "This has been a good, but challenging year for this council. It has been a year where we have been determined to meet significant challenges for the most vulnerable of our citizens.
"It has been a year of real opportunity and new development. It has been a year of tough decisions on our budget with more to come.
"As I go into the third year of my term, I remain committed to this city and our objectives as an administration.
"There is hard work to come, difficult decisions to make and a commitment from me, as your leader, to work tirelessly to achieve the best for our residents."