The service is currently delivered by BIFFA but the contract is coming to an end so officers were asked to look at a range of options, including outsourcing or bringing the service in house.

At a meeting yesterday, the council’s cabinet decided it would bring the service in house from 31 March 2024.

The council said it will work with BIFFA to make sure that all staff who are dedicated to the Portsmouth City Council contract at the time of transfer become council employees.

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: ‘We would like to thank the waste management team and our current contractor, BIFFA, for their response during the pandemic. They delivered a largely uninterrupted collection service and rolled out additional food waste collection rounds.

‘The decision today will give us greater flexibility in how we manage the service and will give the staff who work on domestic refuse and recycling collection for Portsmouth additional benefits in working for the council. Our decision is pragmatic not ideological, we will look at whether to bring services in house on a case by case basis and we believe the decision today will benefit Portsmouth residents in the long term.’

Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for Climate Change and Environment, added: ‘I am really pleased that the decision has been made to bring the service in house as it is something we have been wanting to do for a long time. We have already implemented a lot of improvements to the service, such as introducing a city-wide food waste collection, which are essential steps we need to take to achieve our goal in becoming a greener city. Having the service in house will allow us to make further improvements over coming years to benefit Portsmouth residents.’