Saturday, 28 November 2020

Bin firm apologises for lack of collection

A MAN’S recycling bin was not emptied for almost a month after refuse collectors ignored it

A MAN’S recycling bin was not emptied for almost a month after refuse collectors ignored it for two fortnights in a row.

John Blackwell says Biffa, the contractor which picks up household waste and recycling on alternate weeks for South Oxfordshire District Council, first missed him out during their rounds on June 8.

He assumed it was a mistake and took no further action as the bin was only half-full. He believed it would be emptied during the next recycling collection on June 22.

However, when he returned to his home in Kingwood Common that evening, he found he had been overlooked again. The collectors had attached a note saying the bin contained non-recyclable items, which was untrue.

Mr Blackwell, 60, emailed Biffa three times but received no response so he forwarded his complaint to David Buckle, the district council’s chief executive.

A Biffa representative then called him and insisted he must have left the wrong items in the bin. Mr Blackwell insisted he had not so the company checked its records and found he was correct.

He was told someone would collect it on the following Saturday but nothing happened and he complained again. It was finally emptied on the following Monday.

Mr Blackwell, who is managing director of a consulting firm, said: “I let it slip on the first occasion but by the time they finally did something it was in a pretty unpleasant state.

“I have lived here for 22 years so I know where to leave the bin and what to put in it. Poor customer service is one of my pet peeves, which is why I contacted Mr Buckle.

“Not only did it smell but there was a real risk of attracting vermin. I wonder how many other people have been left in a similar situation by Biffa.”

A Biffa spokesman said: “Our crews collect and empty almost 400,000 recycling and refuse containers each week and errors, although rare, can arise.

“This was an oversight by the crew on that particular round and we hope Mr Blackwell accepts our sincere apology.”

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