Harlow Council suspend food waste collections

News / Mon 26th Jul 2021 at 05:51pm

HARLOW Council and Veolia have taken the decision to suspend food waste collections in order to focus on catching up on other missed collections across the town.

The suspension will begin on Wednesday, and will initially affect food waste collections for those residents who are on their non-recycling collection this week. Residents on a recycling week this week will still have their food waste collected, however all food waste collections will be suspended from next week.

Residents should place their food waste in their black non-recycling bins or purple non-recycling bags until further notice. This suspension will enable Veolia to free up drivers who would normally complete these rounds and instead work on providing green waste, non-recycling and recycling collections.

Residents will also be able to leave out an extra bag of non-recycling during this time.

By taking this approach, Veolia will be able to focus resource on getting other waste collection services back on track, including the Green Waste Premium service. In recent weeks there has been significant disruption to this subscription service which has on occasion seen collections take place several days late.

These problems are in large part due to a national shortage of HGV drivers, meaning that the Council’s waste contractor, Veolia, has struggled to recruit drivers to fill vacancies. The Council is working closely with Veolia, which is increasing its efforts to recruit and train drivers. The situation has been made worse recently through a number of Veolia’s staff having to undertake COVID-19 related self-isolation. The impact has been that over the last few weeks there have been insufficient drivers for the large waste vehicles that are required to collect the garden waste. We have decided with Veolia to prioritise driver resources into the collection of ‘black bin’ waste, recycling, green waste and flat block communal bins, to ensure a smoother overall service.

Councillor Alastair Gunn, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “Residents will have seen a very poor level of service in recent weeks that we very much regret and that I personally apologise for. The main causes are the national shortage of HGV drivers and, more recently, COVID-19 enforced isolation for some of Veolia’s waste collection staff.

“We are working with Veolia to bring new staff into the service to ensure that all collections get back to acceptable levels as soon as possible, including the subscription garden waste service which has fallen several days behind. However, we do need to take the regrettable short-term step of pausing the separate food waste collection. This is to help Veolia get the wider service back working better.

“We all sincerely hope that within the next few weeks normal service can be resumed. I would ask all residents to please remain patient as Veolia and Harlow Council work through this situation, and thank you for your understanding.”

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26 Comments for Harlow Council suspend food waste collections:

2021-07-26 18:17:34

I hope we see a reduction in council tax costs then worst bin service in Essex by far

Wendy Morgan
2021-07-26 19:11:24

My food waste was nit collected last week on a non recycling collection week. Rang council to report, but was told they are collecting the non recycling but not the food. Because of the extremely hot weather we experienced last week and despite food being well wrapped maggots were appearing in the food waste. I ended up wrapping the food waste in plastic bags and taking it to the dump. Not hood enough Harlow Council or Veolia. On the brightside though will safe a bit if money not having to buy caddie bags.

Wendy Morgan
2021-07-26 19:25:54

Our food waste was not collected last week on a non recycling collection day. Rang Council who told me that was not being collected, but stupidly I assumed it would be collected another day. It was not and because of the hot weather last week maggots were appearing in the food caddy despite waste being well wrapped and caddy cleaned after each collection. Ended up taking the food waste wrapped in more plastic bags to dump and putting it in non recycling bin there when taking garden rubbish there. Not good enough Harlow Council and Veolia. It seems that rubbish collection is getting worse. We have to have recycling boxes because big refuse lorry cannot get down Lane, but it seems that the refuse collectors want us (two 80+ year olds) to collect the empty bins from where they choose to leave them. We have purple bags for our non recycling - if we have to put food waste in those and leave them out night before the contents will be strewn about after the foxes, squirrels. rats and cats have torn into them. How long will it be before we don't have a refuse collection at all and the queues to the dump will be even longer.

2021-07-26 19:39:54

Can we expect a rebate on our council tax for the services we are paying for but not recieving?

Tony Edwards
2021-07-26 20:22:49

What a difference a couple of months make. Remember what the Conservatives were saying in May? “A Council that cannot collect the bins on time is not fit to lead our Town”. (Your Harlow 4th May) Now they ask “patience” and “ understanding”.

John Stow
2021-07-26 20:23:49

A rebate on our council tax is the least our council can and should offer

Tony Durcan
2021-07-26 20:32:39

Dear me what a complete and utter shambles. So much for a green council we’re now going backwards. Correct me if am wrong we now instead of putting out food waste weekly we now have to store this for 2 weeks and add it to the non recycling bin. So more flies and maggots What assurances can we have that we will have a weekly collection instead of a chaotic collection. Unbelievable

2021-07-26 21:22:49

So were NOW being asked to put our food waste in with our rubbish, So why were we not doing this in the first place and get rid of the green waste bins.

2021-07-26 21:47:42

I’m all prepared for mixing in the food waste with the non recycling as the school I work in has had no food collection since we came back with a full school in December 2020. Try telling the children that the rules have changed…so we don’t, and separate everything and then chuck it all in the same bin. It’s not acceptable.

Moyna Strowman
2021-07-26 22:17:50

Fed up with maggots and smells in my food recycling bin despite double wrapping over the past couple of weeks I have put food in with recycling. Still flies about my bins!!!!

2021-07-27 07:40:30

Hmm. I can appreciate self isolation impacting staff resource but how can recruitment be an issue with many people unemployed? What is the sense in collecting non-recyclable as opposed to food waste - especially in hot weather? Ever since Veolia took on the refuse collection contract, there has been one thing after another - both before the pandemic and now. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. Presumably this poor service will be reflected in next year's council tax?

2021-07-27 09:43:47

Tony Edwards, Do not try and make a cheap political point, We use Veolia for collection of an industrial waste skip 2x a week and the collection has been haphazard which as the council say is partly due to a shortage of hgv.drivers a lot of whom have gone back to Eastern Europe plus a lot of transport companies who have exploited them for years with crap rates of pay, it has now come back to bite them on the backside

2021-07-27 10:19:21

It not good enough as we pay for that in council tax..Let as know when it's coming back

Darren Franklin
2021-07-27 12:12:46

Harlow residents suspend Council tax payments !!

2021-07-27 12:41:28

You mustn't put food waste in your recycling bin. If you do, the recycling will be contaminated and end up as landfill.

Tony Durcan
2021-07-27 15:56:59

Good waste according to the new rules in to be put in none recycling only every 2 weeks. So much for being environmentally friendly when the first sign of panic is the environmental. Something or someone needs to held accountable

David Hughes
2021-07-27 17:27:09

Typical, the bin men never put the bin back from where you leave it Its not as if they have a lot to do. We should demand a meeting with the council. Nothing will ever get done so fuckem

2021-07-27 19:49:17

Why is there a shortage of HGV drivers? Try paying them a decent wage then they wouldn't all f off back to Eastern Europe. This day and age we should not have to put up with maggots in our bins and rows of unemptied bins, farcical state of affairs and whilst I'm at it sort out the f in potholes.

Roger M
2021-07-27 21:26:09

My food waste was due for collection today (Tuesday) the large caddy has been outside since last Saturday because the smaller one in the kitchen was infested with maggots. As the cut of for collection was advertised for tomorrow (Wednesday) thought it would be collected, but no, mine and neighbours are still outside, so probably will stay there for another week. Also my green waste which was due to be picked up last Tuesday was taken last Monday 6 days later. I pay the Council extra for this service on top of my high Council tax. Have Veolia been issued with a rectification notice or have been fined for their appalling service to the residents of Harlow?

2021-07-28 08:32:55

My non recycling rubbish collection is today and I have put all food in the bin yet the food waste collection is outside collecting food bins.. I thought food collection was suspended from today?

Gid Mcgiddy
2021-07-28 18:10:06

When will you all wake up doesn't matter if labor or conservatives are in charge they all do the same crap job. Hence why I stopped following politics and stopped voting it's like dumb and dumber. What they need to do it put out a new tender but having seen how some of these councils tender telecommunications including PHE it's a very slow and long winded process. I'm pretty confident veolia won this contract on price with a bunch of worthless promises.

Burr Jackson
2021-07-30 04:53:15

Oh look. Any time an article appears here it is ladies and gentlemen! Tony Durcan! The fair weather politician who only shows up when there is a way to blame the other guy! Don’t just take my word for it! Come and see, on and all the spectacular show of playing the victim!

Anonymous bin man
2021-07-30 04:58:02

Imagine complaining the bin wasn’t put back where it was found. Imagine complaining that a bin containing rotten and rotting food has maggots. Imagine complaining that the drivers and bin men are lazy... wow. You lot are pathetic. Go out, work that job and you will know that it isn’t just picking up a bin and hitting a button. It’s a lot more... you only see the face of the work, you don’t know the rest of what we have to deal with behind the scenes! You lot act innocent and victimised here but almost all of you don’t even properly recycle, put plastic in the right bins or even out your bins to a reasonable distance for us to get it fast and safe enough. Amount of times I had to walk up someone’s drive to get the bin, empty it and put it back only for them to complain that I was too loud? Tell you what then mate - next time you leave it up the walk, I am not getting it. We will see who has a bad day then when the bin hasn’t been emptied for a week more... pathetic. The lot of you. The wage we get for the hours we work for the amount of homes we have to collect from, is insanity and you all winge? No faith in this town. None at all.

Richard Adams
2021-07-30 08:05:19

Well said Birman, you get my vote. When commenting we should be careful of who we criticise making sure that we aim for the management and administrators who organise the contract, not the people on the front line that do an incredibly unpleasant and hard job. Keep the good work up people.

Anonymous bin man
2021-08-01 17:44:22

Thanks Richard. A lot of the time people ignore the fact that we are human too. They see the bloody hivis and think we are machines. We do a metric ton of work outside of public eye and it is often ignored. then we get politicians who think it is fun for them to basically piss on our parade. We work hard and the good lord knows it. We dont do anything wrong but try our best and everyone out there seems to think we choose to ignore the collections. we got collections up to our necks! we cant cope with it all. it's insanity! we finish one route and its back out on another. Sometimes two or three routes full completion in one day and nobody bats an eyelid. we got too much work, not enough guys and not enough time to do it all. we understaffed too, so it dont help. management is trying to get everything evened out but they are struggling too. if robert halfon or durkin want to do something they can start by giving us more funding and helping us get more recruits on the floor and getting the trucks out there. thats the major issue right now.

Mrs Carol begley
2021-08-01 20:38:37

Well I never these bin men are human beings and have a rotten job,I was brought up an old fashion way,when ever a workman comes to your house you always ask them if they would like a cuppa or juice,I do the same with my bin men when ever I see them,it's juice for them as they don't have time for a cuppa.how many of you do the same.they don't have an easy job,so please step back a think before moaning at them

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