Garden waste backlog in Central Bedfordshire to be cleared after more than two months - but food waste won't be collected while they catch up

Waste will be collected during a two week period in October

Friday, 17th September 2021, 12:19 pm
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 2:24 pm
The backlog of garden waste is set to be collected in October

The backlog of garden waste caused by cancelled collections is set to be cleared in October - but food waste won't be collected while they catch up.

Back in July, Central Beds Council announced that garden waste collections were suspended due to the national shortage of LGV drivers.

Available drivers have been prioritising black bins, recycling and food waste from 120,000 properties.

Now the council has announced its plans to clear the backlog before the winter period - with waste set to be collected between October 18 and 30.

But it means that food waste will not be collected during this time, as drivers are redeployed.

During this two-week window, residents are asked to place their garden waste bin or their two council issued bags by their kerbside from 7am, on the day they normally have their recycling collected.

To further help Central Bedfordshire residents manage their waste, from Monday September 27, residents will no longer need to book a slot at their local Household Waste Recycling Centres (tidy tips).

The permit system will also be reinstated for non-commercial vans, large trailers and certain materials.

Residents with enough space in their gardens are encouraged to home compost, with subsidised 220-litre compost bin available through the council.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We are really pleased to be able to confirm that we will be collecting the garden waste bins or bags.

“We are sorry that our usual, reliable service has been affected by the national driver shortage – and we thank residents for their patience during this difficult time.

“We would still like to encourage residents to look at alternative ways to manage their garden waste – such as taking up our offer of a subsidised home composting bin, where possible or using one our four tidy tips, where we have reinstated the permit system and booking is no longer required.”

FCC Environment Operations Director Steve Longdon said: “All our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain our services and ensure household recycling and waste continued to be collected but, as we return to normality, the sector is facing new challenges.

“LGV 1 and 2 drivers are essential for the recycling and waste sector, and we are committed to doing everything we can to fill our driver vacancies to continue to play our part in protecting public health and the environment, as well as the UK’s green economic recovery and this firmly remains our focus in Central Bedfordshire so we can resume services as soon as we are able.

“For qualified individuals looking for a new career as a Key Worker in the recycling and waste sector, please email [email protected]

More details will be released online to help residents prepare for these collections.