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Weighbridge error netted council £130,000 in recycling credits

Cheltenham Borough Council overclaimed £130,000 in recycling credits because its staff mistakenly left food waste containers on lorries before they drove onto Gloucestershire County Council’s weighbridge.

Weighbridge error netted council £130,000 in recycling credits

A county internal audit report said: “This was due to staff not taking off the food waste container before the vehicle was weighed on the weighbridge and as such non-chargeable waste (food waste) was claimed.”

This led to inaccurate data being provided by Cheltenham and so to the excess claim.

Gloucestershire as the waste disposal authority pays districts that carry out waste collection for the amount of recycling that they have processed by recyclers which consequently does not need handling, treatment or landfill by the county. 

The report did not say problems had been found with any other Gloucestershire district but recommended additional assurance checks should be carried out to confirm weights on the weighbridge tickets are accurate.

Auditors also found that Gloucestershire receives royalty payments of £190,000 a year from one household waste and recycling site operated by an unnamed contractor, based on the tonnage of  materials deposited other than inert ones.

“The contract could not be located,” the report said.”Therefore, the payment calculations could not be verified in terms of the use of the correct methodology, the original contract base royalty rate and the mechanism used for any annual uplifts to be applied.” The royalty was though was increased by 4% per tonne in 2023-24.

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