A one-off garden waste collection is set to start on Monday, October 18 in an effort to clear the backlog of waste after collections were suspended in July.
Central Beds Council’s contractor, FCC, has been unable to collect household garden waste since late July due to the national shortage of LGV drivers - with available drivers prioritising collecting black bins, recycling, and food waste from 120,000 properties each week.
But the garden waste will now be collected during a two-week period in October, which runs from October 18 to 30.
This collection will help to clear the backlog of waste in residents’ garden waste bins before the winter period.
However, it means that drivers are being redeployed from the usual weekly food waste collections for two weeks, and food waste will not be collected during this time.
And if you miss your collection, drivers won't return.
During this period, the council is asking people to home compost food waste where possible, fill their food waste bin ready for when collections resume, or dispose of it in their black bin - double bagging food waste can help reduce odours.
During this two-week window, residents are asked to place their garden waste bin, or their two council issued bags, at the kerbside from 7am for a one-off collection.
This should be done on the same week and day that residents have their recycling collected.
Food waste collections will resume, as normal, after the two-week period from Monday November 1.
Due to the high volumes of garden waste expected, collection crews will only collect from garden waste bins, or two council-issued bags and will not collect any additional waste.
The council can’t return if residents forget to put out their bins or bags.
If your road isn’t visited on the scheduled day, crews will return as soon as they can, so residents are asked to continue to leave their bins or bags out.
Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We are delighted to be able to collect the backlog of garden waste. I would like to once again thank residents for their patience and understanding over the past couple of months and apologise for the difficulties the suspension has raised for residents.
“To help us manage the expected volume of garden waste that needs collecting, residents can continue to help us ease the demand by disposing of their garden waste at one of our tidy tips where possible, or by taking up our offer of a subsidised home composting bin. Some food waste such as vegetable peelings and tea bags can also be home composted during the two-week pause in collections.
“We would like to remind residents that due to the high volumes of garden waste expected collection crews will only be able to collect either a garden waste bins, or two council issued bags. We will not return if residents forget to put out their bin/bags.”
Residents with enough space in their gardens are encouraged to home compost. You can also buy a subsidised 220-litre compost bin and get it delivered to your home for as little as £16.50 (plus £5.99 delivery).
A bin tag outlining these temporary collection changes will be attached to bins this week, and more details can be seen on the council’s website.
Garden waste collections are suspended in the winter when there is low demand for the service, from December to February inclusive.