Letchworth councillor speaks out after bins left ‘stewing’ for a week
PUBLISHED: 14:51 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:51 18 July 2018
A Labour member of North Herts District Council has said waste service levels “cannot be allowed to continue”, after reporting around 800 missed collections in her ward in the last week.
Letchworth Grange councillor Helen Oliver has been speaking to residents across the area who have had food caddies “stewing in the sun” for an entire week, while waiting to be collected.
She told the Comet: “Following a missed round last Thursday, I was forced to report somewhere in the region of 800 food caddies missed in streets across my ward. The scale of the problem was staggering.”
Ms Oliver was told that the missed collections were due to a vehicle breakdown and a team would be working on Saturday to resolve the problem.
“Many streets’ caddies, including my own, are still sitting stewing in the sun almost a week later. The smell is revolting.” she added.
“While officers at the council are listening and recording the issues when people can get through to them, this isn’t translating into action from contractor Urbaser.
“It looks like missed collections will be left until the next round. Collecting food waste is such a basic duty of the council, this level of service can’t be allowed to continue.”
Missed caddy collections Ms Oliver reported included all of Cowslip Hill and most of Wilbury Road, Grange Road, The Birches, Swift Close, Dunlin, Southfields, Lammas Way, Westholm, Western Way, Woodhurst and Orchard Close.
NHDC released a statement on their website on Tuesday which said the missed food waste and other collections were due to issues with the implementation of the new separate garden waste and food waste services, as well as the re-organisation of the workforce and Urbaser’s issues with its call centre.
They said: “On the front line, they have put extra resource on the food waste collections service and installed a temporary missed bin crew. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”
An Urbaser spokesman said: “Due to a service disruption not all collections were able to be performed. We notified the council and notice was given to residents that the collections would be revised to take place for the affected areas on Saturday.
“The crews reported that all rounds were completed on the Saturday catch up, we would, however, like to apologise if any bins were missed in the catch up service.”