Hundreds of homes missed as Biffa vows to improve waste collection service

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 June 2018

Rubbish has piled up on Backwell Hill, which hasn't had a collection in four weeks. Picture: Jeremy Peters

Rubbish has piled up on Backwell Hill, which hasn't had a collection in four weeks. Picture: Jeremy Peters

Jeremy Peters

Changes to waste collection routes have been promised by North Somerset Council after frustrated homeowners were left with mounting piles of rubbish.

Rubbish has piled up on Backwell Hill, which hasn't had a collection in four weeks. Picture: Jeremy PetersRubbish has piled up on Backwell Hill, which hasn't had a collection in four weeks. Picture: Jeremy Peters

The authority made changes to its waste collection service at the start of June, but missed collections have followed, affecting hundreds of homes throughout the district.

Drivers were handed new routes, and homeowners were given new dates and instructions on how to separate their recycling, but things have not run smoothly for everyone – although the council says this is a ‘normal process’ when re-routes take place.

The Times has seen reports of incomplete collections across North Somerset since the changes, which explain why homes were missed took place, with dozens of roads being missed on some days.

Missed collections have been blamed on rounds being too big, cars obstructing roads and vehicle breakdowns.

Cllr Peter Bryant unveiling Biffa as the new contractor in 2017.Cllr Peter Bryant unveiling Biffa as the new contractor in 2017.

Jeremy Peters, who lives on Backwell Hill, told the Times there had not been a collection for four weeks.

He said: “Since this we have had a pest problem and the smell is getting to be something you would not wish to savour. “North Somerset has become incommunicado over the issue.”

Drivers being given incorrect routes saw some roads in Nailsea and Flax Bourton missed by bin lorries.

Some collections in Clevedon, including Turner Way, Ransford and Holland Road, were missed because drivers started their shifts late, meaning they were unable to complete their round in time.

The council hopes the issues with oversized rounds will be resolved by its contractor Biffa by the next collection – with some staff being assigned the task of ‘rebalancing’ routes to ensure all homes can be accessed on time.

Biffa took over North Somerset’s kerbside collections in March 2017, inking a £10million-a-year contract with the council – and the contractor has vowed to amend issues with round sizes in the coming weeks.

A council spokesman said: “Some of the rounds are too big and need to be rebalanced.

“This is a normal process during a re-route as no matter how good the background information and computer software used to calculate the round sizes is there will be a need to do some minor adjustment once the rounds are actually being done.

“Biffa has someone working on this over the next few weeks and the rounds should be rebalanced by the next collection.”

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