Chronicle country politicians voice 'frustration' as food bins won't be collected for two weeks

'The current measures fall far short of the long term solution for a service residents have already paid for'

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:20 pm

Biggleswade and Potton politicians have spoken out about the axing of food bin collections for two weeks in October.

From October 18 to October 30, Central Bedfordshire Council will not be taking away food waste as it redeploys crews to collect garden waste instead.

Due to the ongoing national shortage of HGV drivers, the council has not been able to provide its usual garden waste service, and has taken this action so as garden waste can be collected before winter arrives.

Will it be a problem if your food bin isn't emptied for two weeks? Photo: Cllr Adam Zerny.

However, CBC Independent Councillor Adam Zerny, of Potton Ward, claimed that it was "frustrating to see that food waste collections would cease for two weeks", while CBC Independent Councillor Dr Hayley Whitaker, of Biggleswade South, told the newspaper: "although I welcome any attempt to empty the green waste that is rotting in bins, the current measures fall far short of the long term solution for a service residents have already paid for."

Despite this, both councillors are pleased that a number of their suggestions at last week's CBC at its Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting "seem to have been taken on board".

Cllr Zerny said: "The proposals included: offer up to two garden waste bags to anyone who needs one, given bags are more easily transported to the tip than a wheelie bin; review whether time slots at the tip can be reduced from the current 20 minutes, without resulting in queues forming; extend garden waste collection further into the winter months if all garden waste is not all removed by the end of November.

"A week later the council has announced the end the of the booking system for the tip and garden waste collections to take place between 18th October and the 30th October. These are likely to take place on the usual collection days."

From Monday, September 27 you can just turn up at the tip without a booking.

However, the permit system will be reinstated again for trade and commercial waste which will only be accepted as a paid service.

Cllr Ian Bond, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services, said: “Unfortunately, due to the ongoing national shortage of HGV drivers we haven’t been able to provide our usual, reliable garden waste collection service to residents. We appreciate this has not been ideal and we are sorry for the disruption this has caused.

“During this time, we have been redeploying all our available drivers to ensure everyone's black bins, recycling and food waste are collected each week without disruption.

“Despite the ongoing driver shortages, we have absolutely wanted to get to all residents to empty what is in their garden waste bins ahead of winter. In order to do this, we are redeploying our food waste collection crews to empty everyone’s garden bin or two council-issued bags between 18th October and the 30th of October.

“Read more about our plans on our website at: https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/waste-disruption