FOLLOWING the ‘shambolic’ rollout of the new waste and recycling service, contractors Serco have issued a formal apology to residents in the Dales.
The apology has come after Cllr Colin Swindell, who represents the Winster and South Darley ward, called for an ‘extraordinary meeting’ to ask the contractors why things have gone so terribly wrong in parts of the Dales.
Cllr Swindell said: “Since the contract came in I’ve had endless calls from my constituents about collections not happening and in some areas people haven’t had their bins emptied for over five weeks.
“To make matters worse, nobody with concerns can even get through to the council to report them as they are already inundated with complaints. One day alone I received over 50 complaints personally.”
Constituents have also reported that waste lorries have damaged properties, rats are thriving on uncollected waste and some residents are still awaiting their new containers all together.
Cllr Swindell said: “I want to know why things have gone so wrong and what is being done [by Serco] to resolve the problems we are experiencing. So far this roll out has been absolutely shambolic.”
Owing to Cllr Swindells concerns, Derbyshire Dales District Council have agreed to hold a members briefing – which will not be open to press and public – on Tuesday, November 6, and have requested a Serco representative to attend.
In advance of this meeting, Serco director Mike Boult said: “We would like offer our sincere apologies to the residents of Derbyshire Dales who have been experiencing problems with the rollout of the new waste and recycling service.
“We also regret the impact this has had on the staff of Derbyshire Dales District Council who have worked tirelessly to respond to residents’ complaints and can confirm that Serco will meet all necessary costs to ensure this service is brought up to date.
“Serco staff, as well as staff from our container delivery partner, worked over the weekend and we are delighted to report that this has had a major impact in clearing the backlog of missed household waste collections. In addition, three extra vehicles worked on Monday to help clear the outstanding recycling collections. With this additional resource in place, we are confident that all containers will be delivered and missed collections cleared by Friday November 2nd . We would also like to take this opportunity to thank residents and council staff for their continued patience.
“When these changes are fully embedded, Derbyshire Dale’s residents will be able to recycle a broader range of materials including plastics and food waste which will help us to reduce the impact we have on the environment by minimising the amount of waste that is sent to landfill.”