Recycling success retains major municipal contracts - Biffa
Biffa truck and man collecting residential food waste

Recycling success sees Biffa retain major municipal contracts

8 Jan 2024
3 mins
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have extended their joint contract with Biffa until June 2026

One of Biffa’s most successful residential waste collection contracts has been extended for a further two years. 

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have agreed to keep their joint contract with the UK’s leader in sustainable waste management until June 2026. The shared contract has helped keep the two districts near the top of the English recycling tables for over a decade. 

South Oxfordshire, which covers Didcot, Henley, Thame and Wallingford, recycles 64% of its waste while Vale of White Horse, which covers Abingdon, Faringdon, Wantage and the Oxford suburb of Botley, has a recycling rate of 63%. This puts both districts in England’s top five local authority recycling areas - with South Oxfordshire second and Vale of White Horse fourth.

As well as collecting plastic, glass, cardboard and cans for recycling, the contract also sees Biffa collect residential food waste. This produces biogas, which is transformed into electricity for the national grid, as well as nutrient-rich bio-fertiliser for farming. And an average of just over 20,000 tonnes of compost processed each year from residents’ garden waste goes to local farmers. 

The joint contract with Biffa has run for 14 years in South Oxfordshire and 13 years in Vale of White Horse. 

Francis Drew, Biffa’s Senior Business Manager for South and Vale, said: “As the UK’s leader in sustainable waste management, this enduring partnership is a shining example of our work with local authorities and other organisations to drive positive change, sharing our expertise so more people and businesses can participate in the circular economy. Alongside re-use and surplus redistribution, recycling produces fewer carbon emissions than disposal and using virgin material to make new goods from scratch. This not only helps in the fight against climate change but ensures the preservation of valuable natural resources. It’s wonderful to see so many residents in Oxfordshire sharing this vision of a sustainable future, and I’m delighted we can continue to build on the progress we’ve made together so far.” 

The councils’ recent waste satisfaction survey yielded encouraging results for Biffa’s household waste collections, indicating a high level of resident approval. More than 80% of respondents expressed satisfaction, or high satisfaction, with the overall quality of the service provided. The extra two years will provide the two councils with the space to develop a brand new waste strategy for the next 10 years. 

Cllr Sue Cooper, South Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Our joint contract extension with Biffa is reassuring news. This partnership has been successful over the last 14 years – and I’m proud of the fact it has enabled us to be one of the top recycling areas in the country. We now have work ahead of us to create our new waste strategy – which will aim to further this good work and enable us to raise the bar on our goal to be a carbon neutral district.” 

Cllr Mark Coleman, Vale of White Horse Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Waste, said: “Our successful partnership with Biffa has enabled us to increase our recycling rates to an impressive 63%, including garden waste and food waste. I’m pleased we are in a position to continue this partnership for the next two years, whilst we work on our wider waste strategy to take us up to 2035.” 

Check out our handy recycling and sustainability guide to find out more.