South Hams District Council have issued the below statement regarding waste collection changes:
As mentioned at our recent presentations, we are undergoing a review of our waste rounds which has meant most households have seen a change to their waste collection times, days or even weeks. The new rounds will help us to reduce mileage and therefore save on fuel use and will also enable us to change to a better recycling service in the new year. Starting early next year, we will be introducing improvements such as weekly collections of recycling, including items like glass and plastic pots and trays.
As most households have been affected by the round changes, there has inevitably been an increase in the number of missed bins reported to us. This note is to share the measures we have in place to minimise any disruption for residents.
We are unfortunately limited in the amount of crews we can put out to retrieve missed bins, due to the size of the fleet and legislative restrictions on driver hours. To help get around these issues, we have shunt vehicles in place to haul waste to tipping sites which allow crews to continue actual collections from households for as long as possible. We also receive reports from our contractor on any areas that were missed each day due to vehicle breakdowns etc. and these are prioritised the following day. We issue an accompanying message on our website and put out social media to keep residents informed. We also have crews out in the evenings and weekends wherever possible.
Some of the changes may not seem logical at present, but rest assured we are constantly reviewing the rounds and may make small adjustments here and there to make them more streamlined. Where access to properties is difficult, we have to use different vehicles to those deployed on the main rounds and this accounts for why waste in some areas is collected on two different days.
Whenever a missed bin is reported to us, our aim is to get back to collect within 3 working days. However, at present we ask residents to bear with us and keep waste out as we cannot say exactly when returns will take place. We are prioritising missed black sack/grey bin collections over recycling sacks and brown bins and ask residents to keep waste out as we could return at any time, including weekends.
It is worth noting that we collect over 69,000 bins/sacks every week and the vast majority of collections are happening on the scheduled day. However, I understand there have been a few issues in certain areas and for this we apologise.
To allow us to respond as quickly as possible to issues, it would be extremely helpful if missed bins are reported on our website as this will ensure it is logged with both ourselves and our contractor immediately.