North Somerset Council to resume garden waste collections

3:51pm - 20 September 2021
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Having suspended its garden waste service earlier this month, North Somerset Council is putting plans in place to restart collections at the end of September. Although the national shortage of HGV drivers is continuing to impact significantly on the recycling and waste service, the council has developed an approach which will enable a service to be delivered.

From Monday 27 September garden waste collections will restart with customers receiving a collection once every four weeks instead of once every two weeks until December when collections normally reduce to this frequency.

Cllr Mike Solomon, executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: "This is a pragmatic approach that enables us to offer a garden waste service to all our existing customers. The driver shortage remains a very serious issue for us. We are losing drivers to other businesses and very sadly have lost some long-standing colleagues to ill health. I say this because I'm keen everyone understands that we remain in a precarious situation with our staff resources and the situation may yet change again."

The council is contacting all garden waste customers to let them know when collections will restart and garden waste collection calendars will also be amended and available on the council's website before collections resume so all customers know their revised collection dates.

Cllr Solomon added: "I completely understand why some of our customers are frustrated that we've not been able to maintain uninterrupted collections in the same year we've introduced a subscription service. Because of the inconvenience caused we will be offering all our existing subscribers a discount on next year's collections to compensate them for the disruption. Customers don't need to contact us to qualify for this offer - it will be automatically available at renewal." 

The council will also trial setting up satellite sites across the area so that existing customers have the option to take their garden waste to staffed drop-off points if they don't live within easy reach of one of the three recycling centres. These will be announced as soon as they're up and running.

Cllr Solomon continued: "I'm also keen that our residents understand that we are lobbying government to solve the driver crisis. We simply can't make this problem go away on our own, and it's not just our services being affected. All areas of business logistics are affected and garden waste collections are just a tiny part of the problem. We desperately need government to undo the damage caused by the Brexit driver exodus." 

The council is working with other councils in the region to lobby ministers and has also asked the two local MPs to support a resolution to the crisis.

New subscriptions for the garden waste collection service are currently suspended and will resume when the current driver shortage issues are resolved.

Recycling and black bin waste collections are not affected by these changes and residents should continue to put containers out as normal for collection.

Residents interested in home composting can also still take advantage of the council's reduced price compost bin offer at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/composting