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JJ’s Waste and Recycling eyes off zero emissions in new ACT contract

JJ Richards

Waste collection company JJ Richards and Sons has signed a new contract with the ACT government, with a focus on zero emissions for its waste collection vehicles.

The waste collection contract will improve resource recovery, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide better customer service, while protecting local jobs, the government says.

But a key part of the tendering process was to encourage the eventual contracted company to embrace the state’s move to decarbonisation, transitioning its fleet of vehicles to zero emissions by the 2030s.

Transport Canberra and City Services acting deputy director-general Bruce Fitzgerald says that this was an important consideration when choosing JJ’s.

“The use of zero emissions vehicle technologies in the waste sector is emerging,” he says.

“The ACT government has ambitious targets to reduce emissions and introduce zero emissions vehicles. Zero emission waste trucks are not only cleaner and quieter but will cut emissions as they run thousands of kilometres around the city each year.

“The new contract will see improvements in greenhouse gas emissions through increased operational efficiencies and flexibility, including the provision of a zero emissions vehicle.

“Data will be gathered around the effectiveness and operations of the zero emissions vehicle to inform the future rollout of zero emissions waste vehicles across the ACT by the mid-2030s.”

Another major part of the signing of a new waste collection contract was the consolidation of all the services in the state, Fitzgerald explains.

Previously, services were split across four different contracts, including the red, yellow and green bin collections, the supply of the bins, the bulky waste collection service and the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection pilot.

“The new contract will consolidate the four contracts and allow the ACT government to streamline contract administration, providing a single point of contact for all household waste and recycling matters and a better customer experience for Canberrans,” Fitzgerald says.

“The contract will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resource recovery outcomes, with increased engagement with households via education programs to help reduce contamination in household waste streams.

“Importantly, to support local jobs, the new contract has a requirement to offer employment to the employees of any outgoing contractors providing this service who consent to be contacted, with the same terms and conditions, as their existing arrangements.

“We acknowledge this would be a stressful time for the workforce and we are committed to ensuring employment and working closely with them through the transition period and beyond.

“We will be working closely with all parties to implement a transition plan. This will include open communication about the process and employment with the new provider. An information/drop-in session has been organised for employees on Wednesday 10 April at JJ’s Waste & Recycling’s depot in Hume. We are working with unions, relevant stakeholders and the outgoing contractors to make staff aware of the session.

“The new contract is also expected to create new jobs in the ACT, particularly as FOGO is rolled out across Canberra.

“Many Canberrans will already be familiar with JJ’s Waste & Recycling as they are the current service provider for green waste and FOGO pilot collections in the ACT. JJ’s Waste & Recycling will continue to provide this service under the new contract as well as assisting with the future, city wide roll out of FOGO.”

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