A lack of drivers could see problems with local bin collections in the North West “last up to and beyond December”.
After rural resident Lesley Ham – who lives near Whitworth Rake in Rochdale – claimed her monthly recycling collections have been cancelled due to the shortage, she told LancsLive that Rossendale Borough Council informed her that the service had been “suspended”.
And when approached about the delays, a council spokesperson said the national shortage of Large Goods Vehicle Drivers (LGV) across the country is the reason.
The shortage is said to be having a “major impact” on bin collections.
The council spokesperson even added that the council is prioritising general refuse collection over other services such as bulky waste collections, and that these difficulties could continue up to and beyond December.
Although Lesley did say that her rubbish was eventually collected by a special collection last Friday after contacting the council, she added that she was still unsure about the future of the collections and was advised on three separate occasions her bin collection has been “suspended indefinitely”.
Lesley continued: “For our rural properties, they only collect the recycling once a month and because of where we are with foxes and badgers, you can’t leave rubbish out [but] by Tuesday afternoon, it had already been got at so the rubbish is just then strewn down the track.
“That’s why I rang and they said they had a driver shortage and then I was told it was suspended on Thursday.
“There must be some forward planning of the situation?”
Rossendale Borough Council said they were adapting collection rounds and reallocating staff where they can, and in some cases, were working at the weekends to collect missed bins.
“Is it rural properties they’re targeting because it takes a bit longer?” Lesley questioned.
“We’ve already gone a month and it’s going into five weeks, but if next month we haven’t got a recycling collection again, we’ll have another month of waste.”
Addressing the concerns over bin collections, a spokesperson for Rossendale Borough Council said: “As has been reported nationally there is a shortage of Large Goods Vehicle Drivers (LGV) across the country which is affecting deliveries to supermarkets, restaurants and other retail outlets.
“This shortage is also having a major impact on refuse collection services for us and many other councils, as qualified LGV drivers are also needed to drive refuse trucks.
“We are doing our best to empty all bins as scheduled by adapting collection rounds and reallocating staff where we can [and] where possible, we are also working at weekends to collect missed bins – but these difficulties are likely to continue up to and beyond December.”
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