Rubbish contractors fined after 7,000 January complaints

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 January 2012

Recycling collections delayed

Recycling collections delayed

Archant

THE company responsible for North Somerset waste and recycling collections has been fined more than £61,000 for missing collections and creating backlogs in January.

North Somerset Council has ordered May Gurney to stump up in the wake of 7,000 complaints from the public over missed collections since January 2.

Andrew Sault, of Walkers Drive, Weston Village, said rubbish should have been collected in his street on December 30, but it was not until January 9 that any was picked up.

Tim Penwell of Mead Vale, Worle, told the Mercury his neighbourhood had experienced delays at the beginning of the month too.

A spokesman for the council has this week apologised profusely for ‘the poor service May Gurney has provided over the festive season’.

He said: “May Gurney brought in an extra 20 per cent in manpower and vehicles. We were informed this would be ample extra provision.”

The volume of calls received by the council on the issue was described as ‘horrendous’.

He said some staff called in sick due to the excessive workload they had to deal with to clear the backlog, and that an increase in recycling of 45 per cent contributed to the problems.

The spokesman added: “Frank and very informal discussions have now been held with May Gurney to put more manpower into this contract.

“The director says he will respond within three weeks.

“I want to assure everyone that this service will get better once these issues are resolved and that we will have the best service within the South West of England and within this country.”

A spokesman for May Gurney said: “We are sorry for the delays that some residents experienced in their refuse and recycling collections after Christmas.

“We experienced exceptionally high volumes of rubbish and recyclable materials after the holiday season and it took longer than we would have wished to get back to a normal service.

“We have not been advised by the council of the value of penalties it is considering applying.”

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