Call for patience as rubbish collection service feels the strain

East Devon is setting the pace for recycling

There has been high demand for recycling services - Credit: EDDC

Residents have been asked to remain patient following frontline staffing shortages and high demand, meaning there may be delays that impact when they get their recycling collected and litter bins emptied.
East Devon District Council says it is “currently experiencing very high demands on its services, following an increase in the number of residents and visitors enjoying the sunshine and East Devon’s beautiful public areas, beaches and green spaces”.
The authority said: “This has resulted in council teams becoming very stretched, especially as the weather in May and June has also led to a late spring and a surge in grass growth. EDDC is now experiencing a 20 per cent reduced staffing team in these areas due to the national labour shortage.
An EDDC spokesperson said: “We are doing our best to keep up with our street cleansing, litter bin emptying and grass cutting.
“Please bear with us in this difficult time and help us by reporting issues through our EDDC App or website and we’ll get to them as soon as we can.”
Due to the same staffing pressures our recycling and waste contractor, Suez is also experiencing service issues. The result is that they are not managing to make all collections on the scheduled day, and these are sometimes spilling over to the following day.
The council said: “If your collection is not made, please leave this out for the following day.
“Our recycling and waste contractors Suez are looking for experienced LGV drivers to join their team. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact James Gatter at Suez on 01395 234500.
Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC’s portfolio holder for the coast, country and environment, said: “Over the last 18 months during Covid-19 our recycling waste and Street scene staff have managed to provide almost the full services expected by our residents, even with the increased health and safety requirements, massive extra volumes of recycling/waste, plus in this area the extra pressures due to ‘staycation’ all contributing to an increase in their workloads.
“Unfortunately, like most service providers in the UK we are now experiencing staff shortages, not only due to Covid19 absences but a lack of new staff available to replace those leaving plus the extra seasonal staff we had planned to recruit. Please be patient, we are doing everything we can to at this most difficult of times."
Councillor Paul Arnott, leader of the council, added: “I applaud the hard work of all our collections operatives. We must understand that this serious nationwide labour shortage has been caused both by the pandemic and by the failure of the government in the five years since Brexit to ensure that there was a sufficient localised labour supply across the country, including East Devon.”

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