Derbyshire council office staff pressed onto frontline after bin collection 'disruption'
A Derbyshire council has apologised after bin collections were seriously disrupted over the festive period.
North East Derbyshire District Council said its service had been hit hard by the number of frontline staff forced to isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.
The authority says office staff have been pressed into action in order to keep collections moving.
A council spokesperson said: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused due to the recent disruption to our refuse collection service.
“The main difficulty we are having is the number of staff isolating with Covid following the Christmas break and the impact on resourcing collection teams, which has required us to call on more agency staff and deploy from other service areas.
“This has included some of our own office-based staff stepping into frontline refuse collection roles to assist their colleagues and help us keep the service moving.
“We thank residents for their patience while we catch up on collections and urge them to keep a look out on our usual communications channels for updates.”
Residents in the south of the district claim they waited for three weeks over Christmas for bin collections.
Rob Moore posted on our Facebook page: “We had three weeks between our bins over Christmas and we don’t have the green bin collected for three months.”
He blamed ‘austerity cuts’ from the Conservative-led district council.
Councillor Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council, said the south of the district had been most affected.
In a Facebook post, Coun Shipman said he had asked the council whether extra black bin waste that had been bagged up next to the bin would be collected.
He also published a further apology from Steve Brunt, joint assistant director of Streetscene at the council.
Mr Brunt said problems occurred due to ‘having to balance our five-day collection service over a constrained three working day period brought about by the manner in how bank holidays fell this year’.
Neighbouring Chesterfield Borough Council has also faced staff shortages – with the authority taking the decision to suspend green bin collections to prioritise black and blue bin rounds.