Southland DisAbility Enterprises (SdE) has secured the Invercargill City Council contract for recycling services for the next 18 months.
SdE general manager Hamish McMurdo said it was pleasing that SdE staff could continue to provide the services that were so important to the community.
“Many of our team have been very upset, anxious and very worried that they may not have had a job moving forward.
“This has been a very distressing state to have been in for a long period of time.
“Our people value the work that they do for the community, it provides them a sense of purpose and belonging.
“I thank the council and the community for recognising and supporting the social good components of our work,” he said.
Council interim group manager – infrastructure Jane Parfitt said, both parties had approached negotiations constructively.
Ross Jackson, the independent chair of the negotiating panel, said it became evident that SdE’s strong ‘social good’ offering would result in a higher cost to council than a purely commercial operator.
However, council and the wider community had previously emphasised their desire to support that social good element.
“The 18-month contract provides an opportunity to work in a different way and collect good data to ensure the best possible outcome for a longer-term contract when the time comes for that,” he said.
Meanwhile, a temporary drop-off service for recyclables is scheduled to be in place at the Bond Street Transfer station in Invercargill from mid-July.
SdE closed the recycling drop-off area at its Ettrick Street location during COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and, due to health and safety reasons, has decided not to reopen it in its current configuration.
Mr McMurdo said SdE would be working on a permanent solution for a public drop-off point during the next three months.