Council apology over missed bin collections

ECDC apologies for missed bin collections

East Cambs Council says a national shortage of HGV drivers combined with unforeseen staff absences has meant there has been a recent increase in the number of missed collections - Credit: ECDC/Facebook

A council apologised today for an increase in the number of missed bin collections blaming HGV driver shortages and “unforeseen staff absences”. 

East Cambridgeshire District Council says it apologises to residents “and is assuring them measures have been put in place to address the issues relating to missed waste collections”. 

A council statement said: “A national shortage of HGV drivers combined with unforeseen staff absences has meant there has been a recent increase in the number of missed collections.” 

East Cambs Street Scene is the company owned by East Cambridgeshire District Council to provide the recycling and waste service across the district. 

“Last week, East Cambs Street Scene (ECSS), which is employed by the council to provide waste services, was unable to collect a number of rounds despite crews and their management teams working overtime to catch up,” said the statement. 

“New measures put in place have meant this week has begun more positively with all rounds on the road. 

“A new driver started work on Monday, an existing driver is now back from long-term sick-leave and following internal training another is expected to be on the road within days after successfully passing his HGV licence. 

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 “This is in addition to employing a Cambridge-based recycling company with immediate effect to pick up any missed collections and assist where necessary.” 

 Cllr Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Through our contract with ECSS we have always prided ourselves on providing a first-class service to residents.  

“Recently unforeseen staff absences mean we have dramatically fallen short of this, and I would like to extend my sincere apologies to residents. 

 “This is not just an issue affecting East Cambridgeshire, other councils are experiencing similar issues. 

Cllr Bailey said: “Recent bank holidays have also meant we have been playing catch-up because, while our staff have been happy to work, they have been unable to unload the recycling and refuse trucks at waste management sites. 

 ““I would like to assure residents we are putting in place practical measures to not only address the issue of missed bin collections but also provide greater resilience in the future.” 

She said other measures being put in place include: 

Actively recruiting new drivers and offering HGV training to existing staff members 

Exploring the use of new in-cab technology to assist crews in completing their rounds 

Working closely with the unions to support staff who are working hard to provide the best service they can for residents. 

Cllr Bailey added: “I would also like to stress this situation is not directly related to the recent reconfiguration of our bin rounds. 

 “And pass on my sincere gratitude to the staff at ECSS and the district council who are I know are working extremely hard in very difficult circumstances.” 

She said the council was endeavouring to keep residents updated with the latest information. 

The council says that any areas that have been missed are being shared on social media and logged on East Cambridgeshire District Council’s website which is updated as soon as the round has been completed. 

The council statement added: “If your bin has been missed, please continue to keep it presented and crews will do their utmost to collect it as soon as possible.” 

Cllr Bailey said: “We very much appreciate this situation is not ideal and would like to thank residents again for their patience.  

“Your support during this difficult time is extremely valued and appreciated.”