Garden Waste Services Suspended

South Oxfordshire District Councils have taken the difficult decision to activate their business continuity plan and suspend their garden waste collections.

The councils’ bin crews will be prioritising the collection of food waste, recycling and general waste collections following government guidelines* in a bid to reduce the disruption to waste collections.

The disruption is due to the ongoing issues of a shortage of HGV drivers who are needed to drive the councils’ waste collection vehicles and an increasing number of waste collection staff being advised to self-isolate by the government’s Track and Trace system. These are national issues, not just affecting the districts.

The situation does not look likely to improve in the next few weeks and so the councils decided to suspend the garden waste service for a month to allow the crews to prioritise food waste, recycling and general waste collections. This approach is line with government guidelines on the prioritisation of waste collections.

The councils hope to be able to reinstate the service after a month and will review the situation towards the end of August before providing an update. There is more information available for garden waste customers on the council’s garden waste page.

David Rouane, South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for Housing and Environment said: “After all the difficulties at the start of the year where covid and self isolation resulted in the garden waste service being suspended this is not where we wanted or expected to be several months later. However, the recent ‘pingdemic’ has once again led to a shortage of drivers, and this has been made worse by our inability to train new drivers, because of a shortage of government test facilities, or to recruit drivers from abroad due to new rules introduced as a result of Brexit. The councils apologise wholeheartedly to garden waste customers but factors beyond our control have made this step inevitable.

“By suspending garden waste collections for a month should allow our crews to prioritise collections of food, recycling and general waste for every resident and mean they are not constantly trying to catch up, which is unsustainable.”

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