Savings of up to $240,000 over three years are expected to be realized from new contracts let this week for the management and operation of the Russell and Ahipara refuse landfills.
Three-year contracts have been let to Transfield Services Ltd for the Russell landfill and recycling facility and to Pukepoto Quarries Ltd for the Ahipara facilities. The new contracts will take effect in January.
For the Russell landfill four tenders were received ranging from $470,510 (Transfield Services) to $660,750, and for Ahipara four tenders were received ranging from $605,750 (Pukepoto Quarries) to $959,743.
Acting Water,Wastewater and Refuse Manager Stephen Cooper said today the new contracts, which would deliver the same level of service for users as previously, was expected to bring overall savings to the council of up to $244,000.
"We have been emphasizing the need for contractors to sharpen their pencils in the current economic climate and it is pleasing that tenders we have been receiving in a variety of areas indicate the commercial sector is taking up the challenge," he said.
"This was reflected in the competitive tenders received earlier this year for the transport of waste to landfill and the management of the council's Refuse Transfer Station network," he said.
Former Russell contractor, Robinson Group Ltd, had offered an alternate tender which included the management of both the Russell and Whangae Transfer Stations and the re-opening of a landfill facility at Whangae. The alternative had been reviewed but had been rejected because the council already had a three year contract for the management of the Whangae Transfer Station in place and because long term savings could not be established.
"Proposed new Emissions Trading Legislation which is likely to include additional levies for methane emissions will seriously erode the financial viability of small landfills such as Russell and Ahipara and would preclude any thought of re-opening a landfill at Whangae " he said. There were also financial implications in leachate management should the Whangae landfill be reopened.