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Cabinet to explore expanded options for a new waste and recycling service

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed to explore options for bringing waste and recycling services in-house, or providing them via a LATCO local authority trading company in future.

The decision follows a report from specialists Eunomia which identified three separate options for how the council could deal with waste and recycling services when its current two-year contract with Plan B Management Solutions Ltd ends on 31 March 2026.

The options included bringing waste and recycling services back in-house within the council, running the service through a LATCO arrangement, or procuring a new external waste contractor to run the service on the council’s behalf – based on advice from the consultant, the report’s preferred recommendation.

After debating all three options, members agreed not to proceed with procuring an external contractor, but to instruct officers to bring a new report back to Cabinet looking at whether a LATCO arrangement might be able to include additional council services alongside waste and recycling, and also what an in-house service might look like in closer detail.

As waste and recycling services affect every household in the county borough, I believe that we should be looking at options which incorporate greater, more direct accountability for how that operates.

We would like to know more on issues such as whether bringing the service in-house or providing it as a LATCO might allow the council to retain greater flexibility and control around how waste and recycling collections operate, how we could react to changing market conditions, and whether we would have greater freedom in dealing with emerging new targets and statutory requirements.

As this is closely in line with suggestions put forward by the recent scrutiny committee, we think it is definitely worth finding out more about these options before a final decision is made.

Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment

Council Leader Huw David added: “Given the increasingly difficult challenges that local government is facing, Bridgend County Borough Council has already carried out a great deal of work to implement new and innovative ways of providing services.

“While the LATCO option for dealing with waste and recycling is an interesting one, it also presents us with an excellent potential opportunity to take the process a step further, and to find out whether additional services could also be run in this way.

“Similarly, we should explore whether bringing the service back in house might present us with a greater element of control or strengthen the service’s resilience to external pressures.

“Before any final decision is made, it makes sense to find out what advantages both of these options could offer the council in greater detail. We also recognise that there is an urgent need to make a final decision on the preferred way forward as soon as possible, so we are looking forward to receiving a further report on this very soon.”

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