Derbyshire council stops bin collections due to Covid-19 staff shortage
A Derbyshire council has suspended one of its bin collections due to staffing shortages caused by Covid-19.
Amber Valley Borough Council has suspended its garden waste bin collections with immediate effect and with no proposed restart date.
It joins several other Derbyshire councils which have also suspended services in recent weeks.
This suspension, Amber Valley says, is as a direct result of staffing shortages alongside the closure of the council’s waste transfer station in Somercotes.
Residents are being asked not to leave their garden waste bins out.
The borough council charges residents £45 a season – March to November – for garden waste bin collections.
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A statement from the council says: “Unfortunately, due to operational issues, the council’s garden waste collection service has had to be suspended with immediate effect.
“If your bin is currently presented, please return it to your property and we will issue further information as soon as we know when the service will resume.
“Staffing shortages have caused delays to all services and this has now been compounded by the closure of the main waste transfer station used by the council.
“In order to minimise any further disruption to refuse and recycling collections, we have made the difficult decision to immediately suspend the garden waste service and redirect this resource onto the statutory services.
“We will reinstate the garden waste service as soon as we are able and apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
The council also says that a growing issue involves residents filling litter bins in the borough with their household waste.
It has said: “We are experiencing a lot of litter bins in Amber Valley being filled with household waste.
“We are appealing to the public to stop doing this as clearing this rubbish is taking up valuable resources that are needed elsewhere.
“Your refuse and recycling bins are still being emptied and not disposing of your waste in the correct manner is an offence.”
Amber Valley joins three other Derbyshire councils which have temporarily suspended or are due to suspend garden waste bin collections in the past couple of weeks – joining the Derbyshire Dales, Derby and Erewash.
Derbyshire Dales is due to suspend garden waste pickups for a month following a crunch meeting tomorrow night (July 27).
Derby city’s garden waste collections, which have been called off for two weeks, are due to restart from tomorrow (July 27).
Erewash’s garden waste collections were called off for three days last week (July 21-23) and have now restarted.
Key reasons for the problems include vacancies among bin staff caused by level of pay and training for new recruits stopping during lockdown.
Brexit is also said to be having an impact with HGV staff from Europe leaving the UK, resulting in vacancies which are not being filled.
Self-isolation of collection staff caused by contracting Covid or being pinged as a close contact are compounding the problem.
For some councils the issue is complicated further due to their having outsourced bin collections to private firms, resulting in less flexibility when responding to staffing pressures.