Council needs to “come clean” about the extent of its resourcing problems
Another day and another raft of missed bin collections.
Mostly the failures are down to inadequate staffing, unreliable vehicles and full lorries.
Yet the Council has so far failed to say when replacement vehicles will arrive in the city.
…and there is a growing suspicion that other services are being depleted in a desperate attempt to plug the gaps in the waste collection service. One estate still has litter strewn around from collections which took place weeks ago.
Its mainly Haxby that missed out on recycling collections today (inadequate vehicle capacity). Some might feel that putting on an additional or larger vehicle on the round would be the obvious solution to this long standing issue. The collections will be rescheduled for Monday. This also applies to missed garden waste in Pinfold Court and recycling in Bishopdale Way
Outstanding household waste collections will take place in Gower Road tomorrow (Saturday)
Rather awkwardly the Council has started delivery of their “Our City” newspaper. The, £10,000 a time rag, also includes a pull out supplement detailing the merits of the Council’s recycling processes.
Residents will not find any performance data indicating the number of recycling collections that the Council misses nor the timetable for remedying issues with driver recruitment, staff vacancies, unreliable vehicles or truck capacity.
No doubt some residents in Haxby will immediately hurl the leaflets into the recycling box – before remembering that it won’t now be collected for at least 3 days!
Collections were missed in the Thoresby Road part of
Westfield Ward today. A vehicle fault was blamed
Council officials have now written to concerned Councillors about
the chronic unreliability of the bin emptying service. It has gone in 3 short
years from being one of the most praised public services in the city to one of the
Pressures on the service have contributed to an increase in
litter drift in many areas with post round tidy up sometimes being missed out.
Officials say the problems are mainly caused by “an
ageing fleet (directly linked to breakdowns), driver shortages and staff
“When the service is under pressure, we prioritise
household waste collections followed by recycling and then garden waste”
“We are in the process of a wholescale fleet replacement.
In the 10 years since the last vehicles were purchased the city has expanded so
we need to account for this, however York is a historical city which is both
beautiful and incredibly difficult to service in some areas when it comes to
waste collection. I want to ensure that the next fleet of vehicles are capable
of serving all areas of the city in the safest possible way. Health and safety
for staff and residents is top of our agenda”.
“Staffing the service will continue to be a challenge,
particularly when it comes to HGV drivers. This is a national problem and
experienced by our surrounding Council areas. However, this is also exacerbated
in York as we simply don’t have the industries to support this. However, we are
investing significantly in developing our own staff through apprenticeship
programmes and development opportunities. Working on the frontline in all
weather is not a job for the faint hearted. One of the reasons that ‘new’ staff
turnover is high is that people underestimate how demanding the job is”.
Unfortunately the service does not seem to have published an
improvement programme with milestones. No figures are produced indicating the
number of bins that aren’t emptied each day, so it is impossible to test whether
the claimed “improvement trajectory” is a reality.
Critically officials are staying tight lipping about when
new vehicles are expected in the City or indeed if they have even been ordered.
Many will be surprised that adequate spare resources did not form part of the original vehicle leasing deal.
In other parts of the world more automation has been tried with mixed results
Been a horrible day for the Council with many more missed bin collections.
Recycling collections were missed in Haxby, New Earswick, Strensall and Wigginton.
Green waste bins weren’t emptied in Haxby, Wigginton and Strensall. The bins not emptied in Woodthorpe on Tuesday still haven’t been collected.
Household waste wasn’t collected in part of Holgate (blocked access).
Sources inside the Council point to continuing difficulties in recruiting staff including drivers. There has still not been any statement from the Council leadership about this issue or why replacement vehicles haven’t been introduced into the fleet.
Recycling was not collected in part of Dringhouses today (“vehicle capacity issue”) and garden waste wasn’t collected from Muncaster (“vehicle breakdown”).
The Council also hasn’t caught up with delayed bin emptying from earlier in the week in Osbaldwick and Woodthorpe
It appears that the Council hasn’t yet placed an order for new vehicles to replace its chronically unreliable existing fleet.
According to a notice published today, a decision on a new “waste collection methodology” won’t be taken until 24th October. Even then it is likely to be several months before the Council actually joins the year long queue for new vehicles.
While refinements to waste management arrangements are needed if we are to recycle more, a greater sense of urgency from the Council leadership, in addressing current unreliability issues, is an essential first step.
The missed bins from yesterday and due for collection in Haxby, Huntington, Fulford and and Bishopthorpe today weren’t collected. This is put down to continuing staffing and vehicle reliability issues.
Skelton was also missed today
The Council says that it will try to empty all outstanding waste and garden bins tomorrow (Saturday)
It does increasingly seem that the bin emptying service, which was often regarded in public satisfaction surveys as the most appreciated local service provided by the Council, is now in decline.