Friday, 22 January 2021

Brown bins suspended

THE garden waste collection service run by South Oxfordshire District Council has been suspended until further notice.

The paid-for service had been continuing during the coronavirus pandemic but has been halted due to staff shortages caused by illness.

Instead, the council’s waste contractor, Biffa, will focus on “essential” services, such as black bins, recycling and food waste.

Some customers criticised the council on social media.

John Ockerby said: “This is a privately funded service. If you’re not providing the service we have paid for, then a refund is due.

“Also, extremely poor timing when everyone is expecting their Christmas trees to be collected.”

Michelle Jefferies said: “I understand the reasons and the prioritisation, but I think it’s the lack of customer service that bothers me the most.”

Lizzie Williams said: “I’m sure in the current circumstances that reasonable people will fully understand and be empathetic.”

The council apologised for the inconvenience to customers but said it wanted to build resilience in the workforce to allow for more staff shortages due to illness.

A spokesman said: “We would like to thank all those who have been very understanding of the difficult situation we are currently in.

“We are working hard to reinstate the garden waste service but low staffing levels due to illness and self-isolating mean it cannot go ahead at this time as we must prioritise household collections.”

New garden waste customers will not be taken on until further notice.

Oxfordshire County Council’s waste recycling centre at Oakley Wood remains open.

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