There is no question that the waste collection service in a number of areas has been poor over the last few months with “missed bins” on a number of streets in the village. On behalf of the Council, I can only apologise profusely to all those that have been effected. That said, I thought you should be aware of the main reason behind these difficulties and what the Council is doing to resolve them as quickly as possible.
Many of you may be unaware that a new waste contract was let to Veolia and began in early September replacing the contract that the previous Chiltern and Wycombe District Councils had with Serco. During the procurement phase, there was an expectation that new vehicles would be available from the contract start date. However due to contractual issues and the implications of Covid-19 on manufacturers’ down time, these new vehicles will now not be available until February 2021.
Consequently, the ex-Serco vehicles are still being used as the primary collection vehicles, supplemented by some additional vehicles from Veolia. The problem is that the ex-Serco vehicles have exceeded their expected life span of seven years and are proving to be unreliable and in need of frequent repairs. It is mainly this which is at the heart of the difficulties many of us are seeing.
That said, residents have rightly reported missed bins on the Council’s website and, should this problem persist, then they should continue to do so whenever necessary. Any missed bins should then be collected on or before the following day although, based on recent experience, that cannot be guaranteed. If bins are not collected the following day, please notify me and I will chase the appropriate officers.
So what are we doing in the meantime ??
- Getting additional vehicles. Veolia has already added 17 additional vehicles but five further additional vehicles are planned to supplement the existing old fleet
- All vehicles are getting enhanced servicing within the next three weeks and the manufacturers are supplying any necessary parts in real time.
- Extra staff have been taken on to monitor the rounds and make sure that any missed bins are collected within 24 hours.
- New in-cab technology has been implemented to ensure accurate and live reporting and to enable dynamic deployment of resources.
- Improvements to the website and dedicated staff to deal with complaints quickly
I hope that this explains why so many of us have been experiencing these problems and what is being done to rectify those problems. I will continue to monitor waste collection here in the village and will take urgent follow-up action if needs be.