Biffa sorry for waste collection woe as extra resources are promised

Rubbish in Monkton Avenue. Picture: Olive Bradley

Rubbish in Monkton Avenue. Picture: Olive Bradley - Credit: Archant

Extra vehicles and drivers are to be dispatched next week to improve North Somerset’s waste collection service.

North Somerset Council’s contractor, Biffa, is making the changes to boost reliability after thousands of households were affected by missed collections in recent months.

Around 80 per cent of homes saw changes to their collection schedule in June – with many complaining it affected the service – while Biffa was fined 550 times by the authority for performance failures from September 2017 to August 10 this year.

About 8,000 homes were due to see collection changes next month but these have been put on hold while Biffa increases its resources on routes.

Julian Appleby, senior operations manager, said: “A change of this scale is a massive undertaking and for the vast majority of residents the reroute has gone very well, but we are still experiencing some challenges that our initial planning could not anticipate.

“On behalf of Biffa I would like to apologise to any residents who have been affected by missed collections over the past couple of months, and to thank them for their patience while we work on service improvements.

“We are increasing the number of vehicles, drivers and crew members we use and the additional resources will be in place by the start of October.

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“This will result in a more efficient and reliable service.”

In an email seen by the Mercury, Cllr Peter Bryant, North Somerset’s executive member responsible for recycling and waste, revealed on September 19 a full complement of vehicles and crews were sent to carry out collections for only the first time in three months.

Cllr Bryant said: “We are working closely with Biffa to ensure it makes improvements to the collection service so we see a significant drop in the number of collections being missed.

“I would also encourage residents to separate out the items in their recycling boxes into the different material types – as shown on the stickers we sent out in May – as this makes a huge difference to the speed of collection and reduces congestion on our roads.”

People have also been asked to leave recycling containers out if a collection has been missed for them to be emptied the next working day.