National HGV driver shortages force garden waste collections to be suspended

5:16pm - 06 September 2021

North Somerset's garden waste collections are being suspended for at least the next two weeks because of HGV driver shortages. Unlike other areas, North Somerset Council has managed to keep garden waste collections going throughout the summer, with minimal disruption, but driver shortages have now reached the point where there are now no longer enough people to make the collections.

There will be no garden waste collections between Monday 6 September and Friday 17 September, but recycling and black bin waste collections will continue as normal. All households which provided their email address when they signed up to the garden waste service are being emailed directly to let them know.

Cllr Mike Solomon said: "We really couldn't ask for a more dedicated team out on the rounds and I am very grateful to all of them for everything they've been doing. But the staff shortages - caused predominantly by the widespread shortage of HGV drivers - have reached the level where we know we are not going to have enough people available to provide the garden waste service for the next two weeks.

"HGV driver recruitment is an issue affecting the whole country with the Road Haulage Association estimating a shortfall of 100,000 drivers nationally. We are working hard to find ways to remedy the crisis locally and will have a clearer picture on compensation for our customers and what we’ll do to mitigate further impacts within the next two weeks. However, this situation will not be resolved quickly without government intervention which is why we are also lobbying our MPs and ministers to fix things.

"I'm sorry that this temporary interruption to the service will inconvenience people.”

Recycling centres will be open as normal for anyone wishing to dispose of their garden waste over the next two weeks. Home composting is also a good way to deal with any additional garden waste generated.