05:00PM, Friday 18 September 2020
Residents continue to be dismayed at the patchy bin collections in the borough, despite the Royal Borough’s reassurances that the contractors are being held to account.
Residents from across the borough have complained that many houses were being missed out by waste collection contractors, Serco, since weekly collections resumed last month.
On Friday, the Royal Borough reported on its social media that 98 per cent of scheduled waste collection routes had been completed.
The contractor sent out 10 crews on both Saturday and Sunday to complete the remaining collections.
But, on Monday, a number of roads once again did not receive their scheduled waste or recycling collections.
Only about 75 per cent of the route had their bins collected.
Serco has said that it was ‘unable to complete the service fully’ on Monday and arranged to finish collections on Wednesday.
“Our teams have been working extremely hard to overcome the issues we have been experiencing and we are making some progress,” said a spokesperson for Serco.
“To further support the service across the Royal Borough we have an additional four vehicles and crews out this week.
“In addition, our crews may be out collecting up until 7pm going forward, so please do leave your bins out.”
Serco has told the council that it will be redeploying crews from as far away as Stowmarket and may be increasing the number of additional crews in the future.
It is also putting on additional supervisors to improve leadership at team level. The company will also ‘improve their communication internally’ and use social media to allow residents to contact Serco directly with comments and complaints.
Councillor David Coppinger, lead member for environmental services, said that some of the problem is that Serco had to deal with the rollover from previous days, so could not catch up.
“Last week I made the decision that anything not collected on Monday will rollover until the following Monday, which was a difficult decision, but absolutely essential,” he said.
“Monday, they had a very poor day. On Tuesday – always a big day – Serco collected 91 per cent of the route, so there is a glimmer of hope.”
This equates to 2,098 missed collections.
Residents have also expressed annoyance that waste collectors put different types of rubbish together in the lorries, such as food waste and general waste.
“We can only put this down to [Serco] being so keen to try to get everything picked up,” said Cllr Coppinger.
“It’s wrong, it shouldn’t have happened.
In addition, owners of a green bin – a service for which households pay an extra fee – have complained that these have also not been collected.
Councillor Simon Bond (Lib Dem) said he observed this issue in his ward, Belmont, while out and about on Monday.
Cllr Coppinger said there ‘should be no specific reason’ why the green bin collection should be missed, as it is collected as part of the standard collection operation.
The managing director of Serco, Ronnie Coutts, will meet with Cllr Coppinger and leader of the council, Cllr Andrew Johnson (Con, Hurley and Walthams) next week to go through the recovery plan. The council and Serco encourage residents to report missed bins at https://tinyurl.com/y2ykz8nw
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