Basingstoke and Deane garden waste collection service to finally resume next week
Garden waste collections in Basingstoke and Deane are finally set to resume next week after being suspended for more than six weeks.
The fortnightly service will restart following an ongoing review by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and contractor Serco after the service was suspended early last month due to a lack of HGV drivers and to protect core waste and recycling collection services.
Since then, Serco has worked to recruit drivers by offering a 50 per cent increase on salaries and enhanced benefits packages and are now in a position to offer a regular scheduled garden waste collection service.
The council said that staffing levels will continue to be reviewed during the winter period.
As the service resumes, the council said crews will be unable to collect extra garden waste, in order to provide a fair service to all customers. It said if crews were to take extra garden waste from some customers, it would impact on the crews’ ability to complete rounds.
The borough council is anticipating that on the first collection a large number of full bins will be put out for collection and is asking customers to bear with the crews as they work their way around the area.
The council’s cabinet member for recycling and waste Hayley Eachus said: “I want to thank our crews for their hard work during an incredibly difficult year and also our garden waste customers for their patience while we navigated the difficulties brought about firstly by the Covid-19 pandemic and then the HGV driver shortage.
“It is great news that we can start garden waste collections again in time for the autumn leaf fall and Christmas period.”
As previously reported by the Newbury Weekly News, customers will only be entitled to the missed collections if they have a live subscription.
Residents have missed around three collections – in addition to further missed collections in July when the ‘pingdemic’ caused many drivers to self-isolate.
The council said extra collections have now been added to all customers’ subscriptions and customers will receive a letter four weeks before they are required to renew their subscriptions and the letter will display the new renewal date.