Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Garden waste collections stop due to staff shortages

Garden waste collections stop due to staff shortages

GARDEN waste collections have been suspended by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The council informed customers on Tuesday that the service would be stopped temporarily due to staff shortages caused by illness.

The waste contractor, Biffa, will focus instead on “essential services” such as black bins, recycling and food waste.

Although some customers were understanding of the decision, others 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 added: “I understand the reasons and the prioritisation, but I think it’s the lack of customer service that bothers me the most, especially when we pay for this service.”

Lizzie Williams said: “Hoping any staff who are unwell recover soon. Thank you for the excellent service in 2020. I’m sure in the current circumstances that reasonable people will fully understand and be empathetic.”

A council spokesman said: “We would like to thank all those who have been very understanding of the difficult situation we are currently in. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

“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 – black bins, recycling and food. 

“We know this is not the same, but we would like to remind you that the county council’s household waste recycling centres are still open.”

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