New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) Leader, Cllr Edward Heron, has spoken about the ongoing situation with driver shortages and the likely disruption to the area’s waste and recycling services; asking for the public’s forbearance and support. Speaking at the Council meeting on 11 October, Cllr Heron, said; “Along with other councils, the ongoing shortage of staff and HGV drivers across the country is having an impact on some of our waste and recycling services. “Our residents have been patient and supportive and I know our staff are working extremely hard in difficult circumstances. Managers and supervisors in the service are doing all they can to alleviate pressures on the service, working with staff from other council-wide services and agency staff and recruiting where they can to fill driver vacancies. “They are having to respond day by day, assessing the staffing levels available, and rightly prioritising collecting the black and clear sack waste. This has meant some of our services are experiencing disruption - garden waste was temporarily paused, some glass collections have not taken place, bulky waste is currently suspended, and the delivery of sacks is behind schedule. “This disruption will continue for some time with a bigger impact on glass collections. Priority will continue to be first collecting black and clear sack waste, then four weekly garden waste, and then glass collections. “We will keep working towards the most effective waste collection service for our community with the resources we currently have available to us. HGV driver vacancies will continue to be recruited for and we will review our current service arrangement at the cabinet meeting on 3 November 2021. “I would ask our residents and community to follow our updates on the website and social media and we ask again for forbearance. We apologise for the current disruption to our collection services but want to assure the public that whilst we respond to national challenges, we are working on developing our services for the better.” Services are currently operating as follows:
General waste and recycling: is the priority service and NFDC are continuing to collect black and clear sack waste from the 80,000 household in the district every week.
Garden waste: was temporarily paused and reinstated earlier this month on a four-weekly collection schedule. Currently unable to take on any new customers or offer additional sacks.https://newforest.gov.uk/gardenwaste
Glass collection: is continuing but some areas’ black box collections may have to be postponed at short notice https://newforest.gov.uk/glass
Bulky waste collection: is currently suspended. https://newforest.gov.uk/article/978/Bulky-waste-collection
Sack deliveries: Deliveries of clear and black sacks may be running slightly behind the schedule that residents have come to expect. The council are working to catch up any backlog, and in the meantime, residents are reminded that they can use any black or clear sack, they do not need to be NFDC sacks.