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Saturday working and delayed collections

| District

With the national driver shortage continuing to bite, residents are asked to report missed collections online and bear with us if crews cannot get back for them.

And as rising Covid infections threaten a ‘perfect storm’ of pressures, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) is warning that problems will continue and disruption could get worse before it gets better.

SWP is confident that missed rubbish and garden waste collections will be returned for within two working days.

Crews will do their best to return within two working days for reported missed recycling collections. But if they cannot get back in that time, they will not return until the following week’s scheduled collection day.

If your recycling has not been picked up within two days of being reported as missed, please take it back in until your next collection day.

SWP and its collections contractor, SUEZ, apologise for the inconvenience. They are working hard to get services back on track but there is no quick fix.

Saturday’s crews will be returning for several rounds that would usually be collected today (Friday 16 July). They are being delayed so other missed collections can be caught up.

If your Friday recycling is missed, please leave containers out for a possible Saturday collection. Crews will do their best but may not be able get to all them.

Residents are urged to report missed collections online using the My Waste Services menu at somersetwaste.gov.uk Available 24/7 it is the quickest and easiest way to make contact.

If your recycling collection is delayed and you are concerned about leaving your food waste out, as a last resort you can put it in your rubbish. It will go to the Avonmouth Energy from Waste facility. Double bagging helps reduce any smells.

The national driver shortage is affecting businesses and waste authorities around the country. It is a long-term issue made worse by Covid, which has delayed driver training and testing, and the departure of many EU drivers.

Somerset’s hard-working crews have been collecting around 20% more waste throughout much of the year. That makes it harder to complete rounds and means they have been working extended hours for a long time to keep up.

Crews work on ‘bubbles’ and this has seen several staff self-isolating as the rate of Covid infections climbs. At the same time, the reopening of non-essential retail is increasing demand for drivers and recruitment is especially difficult in Somerset because it is home to many distribution centres.

Crews are also coping with new routes for the Recycle More service in South Somerset, temporary depot arrangements in Taunton and some congestion hotspots.

Some helpful tips to manage recycling if your collection is delayed:

  • Make extra room by flattening cardboard, squashing plastic bottles (putting lids back on afterwards) and crushing tins and cans (if it is safe to do so).
  • Put extra recycling out in a cardboard box or other suitable container.
  • If waste really has to go, take recycling to one of SWP’s 16 recycling sites. If that is not possible you can put it into your rubbish bin.

Please check SWP's website somersetwaste.gov.uk. for updates and follow @somersetwaste on Facebook.

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