New Forest District Council (NFDC) continues to experience pressures on its waste and recycling service in light of national HGV driver shortages.
Today, NFDC’s Cabinet agreed its contingency plans, which will be implemented only if current staffing levels deteriorate.
Cllr Steve Davies, NFDC portfolio holder for Environment and Coastal Services, said, “Due to national challenges, we continue to experience pressure on our waste and recycling collection services. Despite these challenges, our staff have worked extremely hard, and have been able to maintain weekly black and clear sack waste collections from 80,000 households in the district. "Challenges facing our waste and recycling service seem likely to remain for at least the next six months. To provide the most effective service for our residents, we will continue to prioritise black and clear sack collections and have agreed on temporary adaptions to our service which will be actioned if the staffing issues currently affecting us do not improve.
"This may result in short-term changes to how we collect waste and recycling in the future.However, there will be no imminent reductions to our waste and recycling services, and we ask that residents continue to take out their waste and recycling on scheduled collection dates.
“We hope to resume normal service as soon as possible and thank the public for their patience. By having this contingency plan in place, our aim is to cause minimal disruption, particularly to the most vulnerable in our community.”
The council’s contingency plan includes a temporary pause to glass collections, and a temporary pause to clear and black sack deliveries. Any pause in service will be considered as a localised or district-wide measure with the objective of maintaining frontline services for as many households as possible.
The current reduced four-weekly collection of garden waste will only return to fortnightly in January 2022 if staffing levels allow. This is being monitored carefully to allow early communication with garden waste customers. NFDC will also consider temporarily sub-contracting the bulky waste collection service to reinstate this service for residents.
If changes to the service become necessary, updates will be made to the council’s website and social media pages. Residents can also sign up to the council’s email updates at newforest.gov.uk/emails.
Due to staff shortages, NFDC have been experiencing disruptions to their waste and recycling service including some localised delays for glass collections and black and clear sack deliveries. Garden waste collections resumed in September 2021 with four-weekly collections for current customers.