Basingstoke and Dean Borough Council temporarily suspend garden waste collections as national HGV driver shortage continues
The shortage in HGV drivers in the country has meant that garden waste collections in Basingstoke will be temporarily suspended for at least a month.
The council is to stop these collections from the week October 4 (Monday) but the regular waste bin and recycling services will remain in place.
It hopes that the service will return in November but will be dependent on the availability of HGV drivers at the time- the situation will be reviewed regularly.
This disruption, according to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, is to protect the core household waste and recycling collections.
The council’s waste and recycling contractor, Serco, has been actively trying to recruit drivers, offering them ”increased salaries” and “enhanced benefits packages”.
There have been applicants, who are either still in the recruitment process or being trained but a number of vaccines have not yet been filled.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Recycling and Waste Hayley Eachus said: “We’ve tried hard to keep the garden waste collections running despite the continuing challenge of COVID-19, but the increasing impact of the national driver shortage means we now need to temporarily pause the service.
“We believe it is better to suspend the service rather than continue with the uncertainty customers are facing about collections currently.”
She said: “We apologise for the disruption and understand that it is frustrating for our customers, who we thank for their patience and understanding.
“Our bin crews have worked hard for more than a year, since the beginning of the pandemic, to keep our waste services going despite all challenges they have faced.”
Serco will also continue to catch up on the backlog of garden waste collections that were due during the week commencing September 6 across Basingstoke and Deane.
Subscriptions will be extended to cover missed collections.
The council also said that all existing garden waste customers will be contacted by letter to advise them of the pause in service.
Updates will be provided on the council's websites and social media channels.
There is more information available at www.basingstoke.gov.uk where there will be updates on the status of all bin collections.