Biffa changing routes again as rubbish complaints double

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 07:25 11 September 2018

Monkton Avenue was affected by the new routes. Picture: Olive Bradley

Monkton Avenue was affected by the new routes. Picture: Olive Bradley

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Waste contractor Biffa has been fined more than 550 times for performance failures in North Somerset.

Biffa was unveiled as North Somerset Council’s waste collection provider in April 2017 but the service has been blighted with problems.

It has meant complaints about rubbish and recycling collections have doubled.

MORE: Parts of Weston ‘become a dumping ground’ amid waste collection issues.

The company introduced new routes in May this year, but some households continued to have missed collections. Councillor Peter Bryant, who has responsibility for waste collection, apologised for the issues with the service in July.

However, the problems have not been fully resolved and figures obtained by the Times show Biffa has been issued with financial penalties 558 times between September 2017 and August 10 this year.

Many fines are for failing to collect bins, not providing photo evidence of blocked access and repeat missed collections.

Cllr Mike Bell said: “The massive increase in complaints and the poor service reported by residents has been allowed to drift for too long.

“The council needs to get to grips with this and be tougher with the contractor and get them to deliver the service they have promised.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said further improvements to waste services were being planned by Biffa and some households will see changes to their collection days in October.

The spokesman said: “This is because Biffa need to adjust some of the collection rounds to improve their efficiency and reliability.

“In June, after months of planning, around 80 per cent of households saw a change to their collection arrangements, which has worked well for the majority of residents, but has caused issues for some.

“A change of this scale is a massive undertaking and for the vast majority of residents the reroute has gone very well.

“Biffa is now working hard to undertake the final adjustments to the rounds to ensure all North Somerset residents are getting the level of service that is expected.

“Around 8,000 properties are expected to be affected by the changes – just eight per cent of the properties in North Somerset – and these households will be notified directly.

“Biffa has also invested in two new recycling vehicles to add to the existing fleet to extend collection capacity further.”

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