Please all save Kerbside by supporting them or we shall lose them. They deserve your support because of all the good they do by giving employment to people who would otherwise not be working. Calderdale Council has decided to give the work to the French company Sita instead which is disgraceful.
From Anne Handley
Yes, it is disgraceful, and I think they've been a bit sneaky about it - keeping it quiet. It could be too late to change it now?
Today the Council have a stall on the market urging people to recycle their cans, rags etc. The posters say 'Kerbside recycling of .....etc'. I wonder how many people assume that means Kerbside with a capital 'K'. When I asked he said it just meant collecting from the kerb, and refused to comment about the contract going to Sita.
From Fran Robinson
For details how you can help see the Kerbside website
Send messages of support, suggestions from them how we can help and donations.
From Paul Brannigan
Kerbside have no contract with the Council or Sita from the end of July.
Why would an established service that by the council's own stats is the best performing recycling scheme in Calderdale, which also provides and additional £630 of social and environmental benefits for every £1000 CMBC pay us for collecting recycling have no place in the new waste contract?
Sita's statement states they offered us a contract to collect bulky waste, which they did. The problem is we would have to find grant funding to supplement the job to avoid it being a loss-maker. We checked with other community reuse organisations who confirmed this.
Sita offered jobs to all of our staff under the TUPE system, but working for a corporate waste management company is a world away from working for a social enterprise assisting disadvantaged people into employment. 14 of our 18 staff are sticking with Kerbside. Reasons such as "you gave us a chance when no-one else would", "you stuck by us", "I've helped build what we've got here" and "this job is more than just a job, it has meaning" were given by employees.
We will continue to collect your recycling after our contract ends, but this puts the job in a loss-making situation. We need your support in writing to the Chief Exec at CMBC, the Courier, Councillor Reason and your local councillors.
From Janet Oosthuysen
Kerbside are calling for a mass protest outside the full council meeting on Weds 30th at 5 pm. The more support we show them, the better their chances of continuing are. Come along for half an hour and show how much we value this community resource. I'm more than happy to co ordinate lifts. Coulda nyone who can give lifts get in touch with me on 07832 140898 and I'll co ordinate.
From Jason Elliott
In my opinion, we cannot let a valuable and emblematic social enterprise slip beneath the waves, sacrificed on the altar of municipal streamlining and the dividends of overseas corporate shareholders, whilst we turn our back and sigh "What a pity" because we feel helpless in the face of such large organisations as Calderdale MBC and the French multi-national, Sitas.
I'm with Janet and Paul on this and I would urge everyone to write the emails, and take half an hour out to show your support next Wednesday. Bring your kids; they'll be up for a bit of noise making for sure!
From Graham Barker
I’ve made my complaints about Kerbside being kicked in the teeth to the Council and had replies from Peter Ramsdale, Head of Environmental Health Services, and Cllr Graham Reason. I’ll quote or paraphrase a few salient bits from each.
From Peter Ramsdale: ‘...the Council, throughout the procurement process for the new collection contract, has done everything possible to make bidders aware of Kerbside’s contribution to recycling in Calderdale. All three of the final bidders included Kerbside in their bids to varying degrees. The Sita bid gave Kerbside the largest involvement with proposals for them to provide the recycling service for the whole Borough, not just the 25,000 households they cover now. Unfortunately the two companies have been unable to agree terms to work together and deliver the proposal. This link will take you to the latest article in the trade press which sets out the position and some of the history. ’
From Cllr Reason: ‘...they [SITA] guaranteed all Kerbside's employees a seven year unconditional contract, with better terms and conditions. However we are unsure as to whether they were made aware of this by the Directors of Kerbside. SITA are sending them all a personal letter explaining that. The was [sic] under no illusions about working with a social enterprise organization, either Kerbside, or one of their choosing. That is written into the tender document and cannot be negotiated away.
It is not the Council's place to take sides in business negotiations between two private companies; but to facilitate a meeting where both parties sit at the table and talk. This we did; unfortunately there was not a successful outcome. SITA & the Council issued separate press releases which the Courier has chosen not to print, they have taken sides with Kerbside, thus denying the local citizens a balanced view of the situation.’
From all this it seems clear that Calderdale think Kerbside are at fault here. I’m still very much on the side of Kerbside remaining independent. I don’t see why they can’t have a contract in their own right, rather than be a subcontractor. I would also much sooner have them collect my recycling than the foul-mouthed cowboys who empty the dustbins.
I do think though that Kerbside needs to set out its stall more effectively and clarify exactly what it wants and doesn’t want from a relationship with the Council. The Kerbside website would be an ideal place for this but there’s no detail there (or none that I can find) to help its supporters refute the argument the Council and Sita are putting forward.
To Graham Barker:
You say you much prefer Kerbside to "the foul-mouthed cowboys who empty the dustbins".
Whoa! Stop right there!
I'm sure that was just a slip of the typing finger.
Because it is no way to talk about people who do your dirty work for horrendous wages and conditions.
I fully support Kerbside, and I'm sure they would not want to be associated with comments like that.
From Jason Elliott
As one of those who turned up to the Kerbside demo on Wednesday, I must say how impressed I was by the attendance and support of local democrats from all three major political parties, united on a vitally important local issue. Well done you!
From Matthew E
There seems to be a lot of emphasis on the disadvantaged employees in this forum. It is a little insulting to the actual workers at Kerbside.
Those of them I have met don't see themselves as being disadvantaged. Surly there's a lack of understanding for people to take this attitude.
Rather than use Kerbside as an example about social employment problems. Maybe do something about equal rights for these people in other job capacities all over Calderdale and all over the country.
Are we just ignoring social problems and world issues until events bring them to the fore?
From Anne H
I will be filling my Kerbside box and not the Sita box, as many of you will be too, I expect. But what do I do with the Sita box? I don't have room for 2 boxes in my kitchen. Do you think the Council would come and collect it for free (as they do for other unwanted items) if I give them a ring?
From Jack F
Put the Sita box in your Kerbside box...
From Myra Lesley
Unwanted Sita recycling boxes will probably make excellent storage boxes for toys or tools or serve very well for growing flowers, herbs, potatoes etc. But these ideas are a bit obvious - how about a competition to find the most creative use of one of these surplus receptacles?
From Ian M
Why not just take them to the recycling centre at Eastwood and let them deal with the pile, that's what I intend to do.
Failing that, refuse to accept them when they are delivered.
From Christine Bampton-Smith
As a director of Kerbside, I would like to express my sincere thanks for all the marvellous support that people in Calderdale have given to us.
From Rev Tony Buglass
I've just extricated myself from a large snarl-up in Market Street. That's not too unusual - we know it's a bottle-neck. However, the reason for this one was everybody having to hold back to allow an unfeasibly large juggernaut to thread its way through. Massive container, towering above us, proudly emblazoned "Sita."
Thank you, Sita. Thank you, Calderdale. Not only giving local enterprise and local community a good kicking, but adding to local traffic problems with inappropriately large wagons. Kerbside have much better manners, and a far better understanding of what is appropriate.
Hebweb News 31st July 2008
The Case for Kerbside by Jason Elliot
Mytholmroyd Net coverage of Kerbside.