Friday 3 June 2016

Something has definitely gone wrong this week

Something has definitely gone wrong in Southend-on-Sea this week in respect of refuse collections. There are clearly teething problems with the new rounds and the new recycling blue boxes. I am sure it is a glitch, at least I hope so!

The following has been communicated to me:

Extra waste crews working across the borough this weekend

I would like to apologise to members and residents whose streets may not have been up to the usual high standards of cleanliness that we have come to expect. I would like to reassure you that we are working hard with Veolia to get on top of it and that collection times will continue to improve as the roll-out continues.

I can confirm that Veolia staff will be working over the weekend to help remove waste and recycling after a particularly challenging week in the roll-out of the new waste and recycling service.

Three additional crews will be working this Saturday and two will be on standby on Sunday, after flooding and the impact of Monday’s bank holiday have led to delays in recycling collections.

Veolia is currently half-way through the roll-out of the Borough’s greatest shake-up in waste and recycling services for many years, with many residents being allocated new waste collection days and all residents being asked to separate paper and cardboard into a new blue box.
The move to collections over four days instead of five will mean that collections in future will no longer be affected by bank holidays, with the sole exception of Christmas and Easter. Separate collections of paper and cardboard will result in higher-quality recycled product, whose resale will help minimise the cost to the council tax payer. Together, the service changes are projected to save a total of £22m of public money over the lifetime of the contract.

This week was always going to be the toughest week of the roll-out of the new service. Changing a service that affects every household in the Borough is a huge logistical operation that will take some time for both residents and waste crews to get used to and it is encouraging that around 70% of residents already affected by the service change are already presenting their waste correctly with the blue boxes.

To be honest, the borough is looking quite scruffy at the moment. I can imagine an avalanche of complaints - I have certainly had to make contact with a council officer because some of the waste in my street has not been collected.

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St Luke's Voice Winter 2018/19 edition