A ROCKY relationship between Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) and Challenge Community Services is on the mend as both parties come to the table to discuss the future.
It's been a tumultuous few months for both, that ended when the local council announced an amicable split last month to explore options for the kerbside recycling waste contract carried out by people with disabilities.
But, it appears the pair are back on and there are new opportunities on the horizon, Challenge chief executive Peter Maher told the Leader.
"I don't know if I agree there was a breakdown, we have continued to have discussions all along," he said.
"Like in any relationship you have your good days and bad days, we have tried to ensure that we maintain ongoing employment for the Challenge team, that's always been our priority and continues to be.
"The sense I got from the council is they are keen to have the equivalent staff and activities for them, we're working together which is great and what it should have been all along."
Council's general manager Paul Bennett, water and waste director Bruce Logan, Mr Maher and Challenge general manager Richard Hardwick will meet this week to make sure both are on track to deliver four new priorities.
It was agreed both wanted to maintain service levels to residents, to keep staff in jobs, achieve financial sustainability for both organisations and foster a positive relationship for future collaboration.
A number of ideas are being thrown around, including whether staff could pick-up bulky waste collection items at a price; after the council scrapped the quarterly clean-up.
About 40 per cent of Challenge's staff were involved in the cardboard recycling at the tip. The contract ceased when the council split it into two parts.
Return and Earn processing is another option as well as lawn mowing, shredding, scanning, woodworking or cleaning to employ 15 staff.
Mr Bennett said he was pleased progress is being made towards a future partnership with positive outcomes.
"A number of community members reached out to Council with feedback and questions about our relationship with Challenge," he said.
"Unfortunately, some of the comments and questions were based on misinformation which we hope has now been cleared up by providing these regular updates."
The organisations will meet again this week.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: