Triple whammy hitting Dispatch area waste collection services

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Bulwell residents are being urged to remain patient and do what they can to help Nottingham City Council bin crews who like others across the country have been impacted by a combination of Covid and driver shortages.

Nottingham’s thinly-stretched crews are prioritising general household and recycled waste - meaning that garden waste and bulky waste are not always being collected on schedule.

So far, unlike some councils, those services have been kept running - but if the situation worsens the city council may have to follow the Government-backed approach of many other councils and suspend garden or bulky waste collections.

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Residents are being asked to continue to bear with the council’s crews as they do their best in difficult circumstances and to help by recycling as much waste as possible, reducing garden waste and making use of the recycling centre in Lenton.

Bin collections have been affected by Covid and crew number shortages. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty ImagesBin collections have been affected by Covid and crew number shortages. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Bin collections have been affected by Covid and crew number shortages. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The issue – being experienced by councils up and down the country – is the result of a triple whammy of people spending more time at home during the pandemic and producing greater amounts of waste, Covid impacting on bin crew numbers, with council staff drafted in from other duties to keep collections going and a national shortage of lorry drivers with the right training and licences, after many drivers from EU countries returned home following Brexit.

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National training and tests for lorry drivers were suspended for a year, and the council also faces increased competition for drivers from logistics companies aiming to keep supply chains open across the country.

The council aims to continue operating under current arrangements that have focused on essential general household and recycling collections and seen some garden rounds and bulky waste collections disrupted when short-staffed.

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Coun Sally Longford, council deputy leader and portfolio holder for energy, environment and waste, said: “We are doing our best to keep all our waste collection services going, in the face of an unprecedented combination of factors which councils around the country are struggling with.

“While there’s no quick fix for this nationwide problem, we will continue to do all we can to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and would ask residents to bear with us if collections are missed.

"We are prioritising general household and recycled waste and so there may be occasions when garden waste isn’t collected, in which case we are asking people to take it back in and put it out the two weeks later, or take it to our recycling centre at Lenton.

“We are also suggesting people think about ways they can reduce waste, recycle and compost more and avoid adding garden waste to general household bins

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"Ultimately, if the level of drivers continues to decrease and the council is unable to backfill current vacancies, we may have to consider suspending garden and bulky waste services as other councils have done.”