THE firm collecting rubbish off the streets of Southend for the past 20 years has been binned over concerns it won't recycle enough waste.

Southend Council has dumped Cory Environmental and is seeking a new firm to clean streets and collect bins from October next year.

Cory recycled 53 per cent of household waste last year and was on track for the council target of 60 per cent by the end of its contract next September.

However, the council is facing a £3million landfill tax bill this year and Cory failed to convince officers it could recycle more and reduce the tax – which is based on how much rubbish is sent to dumps and not recycled.

Martin Terry, Southend councillor responsible for waste, said: “Southend has a good track record in waste and recycling, which is reflected in recycling rates above the national average and negligible missed collections.

“However, we are committed to getting the best deal we can for Southend’s council tax payers and regularly invite the market to compete for major contracts.

“The council’s contract with our current supplier, Cory, expires next year, without the option of extension.

“Seven firms have bid for the contract, of which four have been shortlisted. Cory was not on the shortlist.

“It is very important to note that Cory staff will be transferred over to the new contractor.

“The council recognises and values the good work and achievements of Cory over the past 20 years and will continue to work closely with them over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.”

Contractors Serco and Urbaser also failed to make the cut in the pre-qualification stage of the bidding process, with Sita, which collects waste in Rochford, Amey LG, Biffa and Veolia still in the running. The winner will be announced early next year.

Rochford District Council recycles 66.82 per cent of household waste – the highest rate in the country.

New EU guidelines being brought in may mean separate recycling bins are needed for paper, metal, glass and plastic and the council has asked bidders to outline their approach to dealing with this as part of their bid. But black bags will be collected every week until at least November 2017.

The council expects to pay little land fill tax next year as almost all waste will be sent to the huge new treatment site being built in Cortauld Road, Basildon.

Cory Environmental declined to comment.