Recommendations made following ‘unacceptable’ waste collection service

PUBLISHED: 16:43 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:43 13 November 2018

NHDC will propose two initiatives following

NHDC will propose two initiatives following "unacceptable" waste collection service. Picture: Danny Loo

©2018 Archant

A report has been written recognising the problems with the North Herts District Council waste contract, with two proposals to be discussed at a cabinet meeting next Tuesday.

The report comes after months of collection chaos in the district since waste firm Urbaser took over the contract in May this year.

The first recommendation is that the council agrees that the current 12-month payment period for those who signed up to the garden waste service be extended by three months.

This would mean that rather than having to re-subscribe by May 2019, residents would not have to pay the charge – currently £40 or a £35 early bird fee – again until August.

Recognising that issues have not just affected the brown bin collection service, it is also proposed that the council will provide a free roll of compostable liners for the kitchen food waste caddies to all households.

A council spokeswoman said: “NHDC and its waste contractor, Urbaser, have long accepted that many residents have not received a satisfactory level of service since the new waste and recycling contract came into force in May.

“Both parties have been working extremely hard to remedy the faults. However, in recognition of these problems, a report is being taken to the council’s cabinet meeting on November 20, recommending two initiatives that the council hopes will give residents some tangible evidence that it is taking the issue and the inconvenience caused to residents extremely seriously.”

Prior to the contract coming into effect, the council made the controversial decision to charge for garden waste collections, for those who wished to opt-in to the service.

NHDC’s executive member for waste and recycling councillor Michael Weeks said: “We are extremely sorry for the unacceptable level of service which some residents have received since the start of the new contract.

“While things are getting better and the vast majority of residents are now receiving a good level of service, we felt it appropriate for the council to recognise the problems residents have faced and the inconvenience caused.

“These initiatives will be debated by cabinet, before recommendations are made to full council on November 22.”

The cabinet meeting will be held at the council offices in Gernon Road, Letchworth, from 7.30pm.

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