Refuse Collection update

Since the start of the new collection rounds I have received many complaints from residents about late service or no service at all. I would be pleased if you would continue to let me know about any problems you are experiencing with the service. If you have a pull-out service and for some reason this is not being done, again, please let me know.

At the Council meeting on Wednesday 17th November I raised the following issues in a speech I made to Council:

1. The Council has known about these changes since late last year yet chose to send letters to residents only very recently and too close to the changeover dates. 

2. Internally within the Department responsible for Refuse Collection some officers had raised potential issues. 

3. There was poor communication with both residents and elected members, both in terms of before the new routes were introduced, when they were aware problems existed and also in terms of their solutions. 

4. The Council have also given promises on how they would be resolving the issues but I had to chase them up as even the recovery procedures did not meet expectations.

5. The new crews are now covering areas with vehicles coming from the opposite side of the city i.e. they are coming from Cross Green to Adel although some do still come from the Henshaw Depot at Yeadon.

6. The drivers were unaware of the routes and hadn’t had much/any chance at all to drive them beforehand and they weren’t even given basic Satnav equipment to help them out. 

7. The cost of the recovery measures is not good management of Council resources

 8. In terms of green bins, in those areas that have a record of high levels of recycling if they have had to wait up to 7 weeks it meant the volumes to be picked up were greater and the handling of this on to the vehicles takes longer and the vehicle fills up quicker.

9. The size of the vehicles used is inappropriate for the locations – some need to be larger and some smaller because of the space available in some of the smaller cul-de-sacs and also the volumes within the rounds. 

10. The industrial dispute last year was about the introduction of route rationalisation i.e. trying to ensure all the bin crews needed to collect the same number of bins and the crews worked the same number of hours, unlike beforehand and it may be that some people are trying to make a political point about this being wrong or it may be that the software and the consultants being used have got the rounds wrongly sized and some are too big. 

11. The senior officers in the Council did not respond to members’ queries quickly and in some cases have still not responded. They left the responses to the front-line officers who, if they were having to spend time dealing with my enquiries or those of residents, meant they could not get out and sort out the problems. Whereas if the senior management had responded to the emails and come up with proposals to resolve the problem it would have the front-line managers free to work at introducing the solutions.