A plastics company has said it could have saved a North East council around £340,000 but was overlooked for a lucrative contract to supply new wheelie bins.

Kial Horton, sales director for IPL Plastics Rotherham, has accused Middlesbrough Council of wasting taxpayers’ money by giving work worth more than £1 million to a rival German firm.

He said the authority did not follow the correct procurement procedures when ordering around 85,000 new bins for residents.

The contract for new bins was instead awarded to SSI Shaefer. The council said it won the contract because it was able to meet all the requirements.

Although the council admits it did not publish the contract award notice within the required time period – something it has rectified – it insists that did not affect the decision.

Mr Horton said: “There are a handful of opportunities a year where a local authority looks to increase its infrastructure and improve its recycling rates.

“The price of wheelie bins do vary, depending from company to company, depending on the time of year and what is going on globally with regard to materials.

“But this is public spend and it is a lot of money. They are not getting best value while at the same time they are increasing council tax.

“This money will make up a proportion of where that increase goes to.”

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IPL Plastics makes and ships up to two million wheelie bins a year and supplies authorities around the country.

Mr Horton said the firm has 55 per cent of the market share.

He said the contract was directly awarded to the SSI Shaefer without going to tender first.

Mr Horton said: “In my opinion for contracts worth over £300,000 you should really be running a competition to get best value.

“Middlesbrough has directly awarded to this manufacturer.

“They have always directly awarded to this company.

“If they think that is where best value lies then that is kind of their prerogative, but I think it is misplaced judgement.

“They would save around £4 for every residential property if they went with us.

“I just like fair play and it does not feel as though we are playing on a level playing field.”

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But a Middlesbrough Council spokesman said the contract was 'fully compliant' and was awarded in line with the relevant procurement legislation and in liaison with the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO).

He said: "A direct award was made to a supplier who was able to meet all our requirements around the supply and delivery of wheeled bins as part of the ongoing bin replacement and transformation of waste collection services in Middlesbrough.  

“Due to an oversight, the contract award notice was not published within the required time period, but this did not affect the decision and the information is now available on the council’s publicly accessible contracts register.”