District Council lays out plans for waste improvements

East Cambridgeshire District Council has apologised to residents and is assuring them measures have been put in place to address the issues relating to missed waste collections.

A national shortage of HGV drivers combined with unforeseen staff absences has meant there has been a recent increase in the number of missed collections.

Last week, East Cambs Street Scene (ECSS), which is employed by the Council to provide waste services, was unable to collect a number of rounds despite crews and their management teams working overtime to catch up.

New measures put in place have meant this week has begun more positively with all rounds on the road.

A new driver started work on Monday, an existing driver is now back from long-term sick-leave and following internal training another is expected to be on the road within days after successfully passing his HGV licence.

This is in addition to employing a Cambridge-based recycling company with immediate effect to pick up any missed collections and assist where necessary.

Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Through our contract with ECSS we have always prided ourselves on providing a first-class service to residents. Recently unforeseen staff absences mean we have dramatically fallen short of this, and I would like to extend my sincere apologies to residents.

“This is not just an issue affecting East Cambridgeshire, other councils are experiencing similar issues.

“Recent bank holidays have also meant we have been playing catch-up because, while our staff have been happy to work, they have been unable to unload the recycling and refuse trucks at waste management sites.

“I would like to assure residents we are putting in place practical measures to not only address the issue of missed bin collections but also provide greater resilience in the future.”

Other measures being put in place include:

  • Actively recruiting new drivers and offering HGV training to existing staff members
  • Exploring the use of new in-cab technology to assist crews in completing their rounds
  • Working closely with the unions to support staff who are working hard to provide the best service they can for residents.

Anna added: “I would also like to stress this situation is not directly related to the recent reconfiguration of our bin rounds.

“And pass on my sincere gratitude to the staff at ECSS and the district council who are I know are working extremely hard in very difficult circumstances.”

East Cambridgeshire District Council is endeavouring to keep residents updated with the latest information.

Any areas that have been missed are being shared on social media and logged on East Cambridgeshire District Council’s website which is updated as soon as the round has been completed.

If your bin has been missed, please continue to keep it presented and crews will do their utmost to collect it as soon as possible.

Anna added: “We very much appreciate this situation is not ideal and would like to thank residents again for their patience. Your support during this difficult time is extremely valued and appreciated.”  

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