North Herts District Council apologises over brown bin saga

PUBLISHED: 12:03 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:11 25 May 2018

Some garden waste bins have not been collected for three weeks, despite North Herts residents now paying £40 annually for the service. Picture: Danny Loo

Some garden waste bins have not been collected for three weeks, despite North Herts residents now paying £40 annually for the service. Picture: Danny Loo

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

North Herts District Council has issued an apology to residents for the ongoing problems with brown bin and food caddy collection in the district.

Scores of residents from across North Herts – who have paid £40 for garden waste collection or £35 discounted earlybird fee, as part of a cost cutting measure at NHDC – have told this newspaper of their bin woes in the past week.

Most said they have not had their bins collected since the new contract with waste management firm Urbaser was rolled out on May 14.

Councillor Michael Weeks – who is the district council’s executive member for waste and recycling – said: “Firstly, I would like to unreservedly apologise to North Hertfordshire residents for the issues that have occurred at the start of our new waste and recycling contract with Urbaser.

“Unfortunately we have experienced a number of operational issues, which has resulted in some residents either receiving their new food waste caddy late, or having their food and/or brown bin collections missed.

“As a result, our phone lines have been extremely busy which we know is very frustrating for residents.

“Teams across the council and at Urbaser are working extremely hard to identify and solve the issues.

“As an example, Urbaser have now doubled the number of call centre staff available and their crews worked last weekend to catch up on missed collections. 
“We have also had some issues with vehicle breakdowns, however, new vehicles are now starting to arrive.

“The key outstanding issue which we are trying to resolve is around the accuracy of the data we hold on residents who have signed up to the garden waste service. 
“Some of these initial data issues have now been resolved, however there is still work to be done and we can only apologise for this.

“We know it is extremely frustrating for residents if they can’t get through to us on the phone lines.

“Please wherever possible use our missed bin form on our website and we would ask you please do not report a missed bin more than once.

“If you have reported a missed brown bin and have paid for the service, please bear with us. Your bin will be collected, but it may take longer than usual.

“Also, a reminder that we are only collecting brown bins from residents who have signed up and paid for the garden waste service. You can still sign up by going to www.north-herts.gov.uk/gardenwaste.

“For those who have signed up, a reminder that the garden waste service is only fortnightly, not weekly.

“We will continue to keep our website and social media channels updated with the latest service information.

“Thank you for your continued patience and understanding and sincere apologies again for the inconvenience.”

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