Waste collection service ‘not good enough’ as Biffa apologies for issues

Cllr Bridget Petty said Biffa’'s service has ‘not been good enough’. Picture: Mark Atherton

Cllr Bridget Petty said Biffa’'s service has ‘not been good enough’. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

Councillors believe waste collections across North Somerset in recent weeks have ‘not been good enough’.

Waste contractor Biffa has experienced issues with crew shortages and broken down vehicles in the past month, which has resulted in collections missed in North Worle, Weston Village, Banwell, Locking Road in Weston, Yatton and Claverham.

Cllr Bridget Petty, North Somerset Council's executive member for environment, criticised the service and said she was keen to not rely on external companies in the future at the authority's July meeting.

She said: "We're very concerned about the service we are, and have been, receiving from Biffa.

"They've been letting our residents down and we're having high-level conversations.

"It's not good enough, it hasn't been good enough but we have to try to get the best out of the service.

"I'm keen and willing to consider all options when the contract comes up for review."

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The company's £50million waste and recycling contract is due to expire in 2024 but councillors voiced concerns over the poor service.

Cllr Ciaran Cronnelly said the council had been 'repeatedly let down' by Biffa and asked if the administration would consider operating the service in-house.

Council leader Don Davies said he would like to bring more services in-house, but the council's infrastructure for insourcing had been 'destroyed'.

He added: "With the totally shambolic central Government we have, our funding is almost totally unknown, apart from our own internal resources."

Cllr Petty added: "We are in a contract with Biffa until 2024 which must be honoured.

"We are trying to get the best out of the service and we will continue to push them harder.

"So far it has been unsatisfactory and we will challenge them on why it has not been good enough and to explain their contingency planning."

A Biffa spokesman said: "Unfortunately, a combination of incidents in the North Somerset area, including traffic issues on the M5, severe heat and staffing shortages, has led to missed collections for our customers.

"We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working hard to rectify this issue."