Scrutiny meeting over North Herts bin collection issues

Residents have had faced issues with collection since the start of the contract in May. Picture: Dan

Residents have had faced issues with collection since the start of the contract in May. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

North Herts councillors will be discussing a report which highlights issues with the waste and recycling contract at an overview and scrutiny meeting tonight.

Residents have been met with a number of issues with bin collections since the start of the new contract with Urbaser in May this year.

The report which is set to be discussed highlights these issues, including problems with the data on those who subscribed to the brown bin service – charged by North Herts District Council at £40 per year – and technology in refuse vehicles.

There has also been difficulties with some collection crews and the inability for people to get through on the phones to report missed bins leading to further disruption to services.

The purpose of the report is to give an overview of some of the problems and to discuss why the have occurred and what has been and is still being done to rectify them.

Council leader Lynda Needham said: “We know that residents quite rightly expect their bins to be collected consistently, week in, week out, and while we are confident that the majority of residents are now receiving a good service, I appreciate that this is little comfort to those residents who have been affected, particularly those who have had multiple bin collections missed.

“We have been completely honest and transparent in the report, clearly identifying the issues we have had an the measures the council and Urbaser have been taking to resolve them.

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“I would like to reassure residents that we are regularly meeting with the most senior management at Urbaser and both organisations are treating this issues as their highest priority.

“Unfortunately, despite this, the situation is complex and there is no easy or quick fix, as there are a number of separate issues which need to be resolved.

“We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused residents and we are putting as much resource as we can into fixing things.”

Jose Ramon Sanchez, operations manager at Urbaser, said: “We remain focused on resolving the issues we have encountered and will support the council in whatever way we can.”

The report is available to view on the council’s website. Go to

Tonight’s meeting will take place at the council offices in Letchworth’s Gernon Road from 7.30pm.