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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Human Rights Campaigners Call for Veolia Exclusion from West london Waste Contract

Human Rights campaigners in six London boroughs, including Brent and Harrow, are seeking support for their efforts to get Veolia excluded from the current bidding process for the multi-million West London Waste Management Contract. The contract covers Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond.

The campaign is based on allegations that Veolia, a French multi-national, has demonstrated racist practices in its recruitment policies and has been guilty of grave misconduct through its active participation in violations of international and humanitarian laws and norms.

Campaigners are asking residents of the six boroughs to sign a letter to the West London Waste Authority which sets out the case LINK

If you would like to sign the letter please send your name, borough and postcode to:

Veolia fails to win Ealing waste contract

In another victory for Palestinian rights, Ealing Council, in London , has failed to select Veolia for a comprehensive tender for its domestic refuse, street cleaning and parks maintenance contract. The contract is worth approx £300m in total over 15 years and one of Ealing Council’s largest single contracts. This is even more significant given the fact that Veolia had the previous parks maintenance contract.

Veolia remains involved in the building and future operation of a light-rail tramway linking Israel’s illegal settlements with West Jerusalem, facilitating Israel's ‘grave breaches’ of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Veolia Transport Israel also runs two bus services serving the same function as the tramway: supporting and consolidating illegal settlements and tying them more closely into Israel .

Sarah Colborne, PSC Director, said: ‘Veolia’s loss of this contract, following its failure in a number of significant bids in Britain and internationally, is a clear sign that Veolia is paying a high price for its complicity in Israel’s occupation and violations of international law. West London PSC, together with other groups and individuals supporting Palestinian rights, wrote and met councillors from across the political spectrum and council officials, and submitted detailed factual and legal analysis. Veolia must realise that until it pulls out of all its activities serving Israel ’s illegal settlements, it will continue to be a target for the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). Through BDS, those committed to peace and justice are sending a message – we don’t buy into Israel ’s violations of Palestinian rights’ 

Veolia's seven year waste management contract with the London Borough of Brent expires in 2014 and the Council is likely to start the procurement process quite soon.

Veolia long-listed for West London Contract

The West London Waste Authority has announced the long-list for the new 25 year waste management contract to cover Harrow, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing, Brent and Richmond. Note that bidders may make proposals on sites they control or may acquire,  and that they will be invited to submit proposals on the 'most economically advantageous technologies'. Environmentalists will be watching very carefully to see what technologies will be suggested and whether incineration will be one of them:
The West London Waste Authority (WLWA) has long-listed a total of eight bidders for a long term residual waste treatment contract covering the boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, and Richmond upon Thames.

Cory Environmental Ltd, Covanta Energy Ltd, E.ON Energy from Waste AG, FCC/Waste Recycling Group Ltd, SITA UK Ltd, Veolia ES Aurora Ltd, Viridor Waste Management Ltd, and Wheelabrator Technologies Incorporated will now be invited to develop outline solutions as the next stage in the competitive dialogue process that is being employed.

The contract involves treating up to 300,000 tonnes of residual waste per year generated by a population of 1.4 million people, and covers all aspects of treatment including any necessary transport, the operation of transfer stations, and contracts for outputs such as compost, refuse-derived fuel, recyclates etc.

Bids were invited from “single entity” companies, consortia, or joint ventures. The WLWA has offered the three waste transfer stations within its direct control as part of the procurement but also welcomed proposals involving sites within bidders’ control or which they intend to acquire.

Bidders will now be invited to present whatever proposals they feel are the most economically advantageous technology to meet WLWA’s output specification but the authority is stipulating that the technology must be proven in operation on a municipal scale.

The next stage of the tender process will narrow bidders to three or four that will present detailed solutions in the first part of 2012. Two final bidders will submit final tenders in Autumn 2012, and the preferred bidder will be selected in Spring 2013.

Councillor raises concerns over Veolia contract

Cllr Ann Hunter (Lib Dem) brought up the issue of the West London Waste contract at the Council meeting on July 11th with a question to Cllr James Powney. The minutes of the meeting have just been published and the exchange is set out below:
Councillor Hunter stated that she understood lead members had received representations from residents asking that Veolia be excluded from the current procurement exercise for waste disposal because they felt the company had demonstrated racist recruitment practices with reference to its activities in the West Bank and Israel. Councillor Powney replied that West London Waste was embarking on a waste procurement exercise and it could not jeopardise this by not following the proper processes. Councillor Hunter responded by saying that she would like to see West London Waste take the concerns of local residents seriously and that she had been shocked to see the advertisement for jobs on the Jerusalem Light Railway which effectively prevented the majority of local Palestinian citizens from applying. She asked how it could be allowed that Veolia was treated as a suitable contractor and felt that the matter needed to be given serious consideration.
 Residents who share the concerns should see the letter Human Right campaigners are sending to the Council HERE and if they wish to sign it send their name. e-mail and postcode to:nernier@gmail.com