The national shortage of HGV drivers and COVID-19 isolation requirements have compounded waste collection problems in the Folkestone & Hythe district. This has forced the council to take the difficult decision to agree to a request from its contractor to suspend temporarily the collection of garden waste.

Veolia – the council’s waste contractor – advised that to prioritise clinical, food, waste and recycling rounds with reduced teams it would need to suspend the collecting of garden waste. On Wednesday (21July) there were 16 Veolia staff absent from work.

Councillor Stuart Peall, F&HDC Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste & Building Control, said: “I do appreciate the difficulties this will raise for some residents, but on balance the council needs to prioritise clinical, food, refuse, and recycling rounds in the circumstances we are facing. 

“We have had assurances from Veolia that this action will result in a positive impact on the remaining collections and we will of course seek to recoup losses to the council from Veolia.”

Refunds or ‘rebates’ could take eight months!

Residents who have signed up and paid for the annual service will receive a letter explaining that they will be offered a rebate for the loss of the garden waste service by the end of the financial year

Whilst garden waste is not being collected, residents should use the household waste recycling centres and appointments can be made here https://www.kent.gov.uk/environment-waste-and-planning/rubbish-and-recycling/household-waste-recycling-centres/visiting-a-hwrc-during-coronavirus

The council has been meeting regularly with Veolia after it became clear that new routes introduced in May were not working and there was an unacceptable level of missed bins.

Veolia is working on amending its new routes and has set up its own call centre for missed bin reports to take pressure off the council’s Customer Services team.

In addition the council will be seeking financial recompense for performance clauses not met within the contract and to cover other additional costs. 

By Ed

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