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Gaps remain in bin collection service, despite 'step in the right direction'

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

Bin collections have taken ‘a step in the right direction’ according to a councillor – but some residents are still experiencing problems.

The Royal Borough has been working with contractor Serco to fix a raft of problems with missed collections reported since last month.

Catching up with a backlog of missed houses, collections have been continuing throughout the day until 7pm at night.

The council reported 99 per cent of Serco’s routes were covered on Monday (September 21), but this number had dropped to 89 per cent by Tuesday.

The borough said this was predominantly due to the collection routes comprising ‘a greater number of households, over a greater distance and of greater complexity’ than other days of the week.

Councillor David Coppinger, lead member for waste, said: “[Serco’s] rationale is that by operating the routes as they stand, they will be able to properly assess the new routes so they can make changes in order to finalise routes which they can sustainably complete long-term, and missed collections become the exception.”

Any bins not collected on Tuesday will be collected on Saturday, September 26.

Referring to Monday’s performance, Cllr Coppinger called it ‘a step in the right direction’ although individual bins within routes are still being missed due to varying factors.

For example, a block of 14 flats in Crown Lane has not had its recycling bins collected for a month, despite multiple back and forth correspondence between the council and residents.

Amjad Masri lives in one of these flats. He said that, though the council repeatedly told residents that waste collections were coming, staff then had to retract the reassurance, apologising for giving residents the wrong information.

According to Mr Masri, the long wait has forced the director of the flats to hire a private company to empty the bins.

One of the complications is that construction vehicles are frequently blocking access to the road at the time when the rubbish collectors are coming.

However, Mr Masri, who had to call out to the construction workers from his window to get them to move on Monday, thinks this is no excuse.

“It’s their responsibility to make sure no one is blocking the road,” he said. “It’s not my job.”

“It’s becoming a health and safety hazard. If this is how Maidenhead is dealing with COVID-19 to protect the residents, I only can say may God help us.”

Cllr Coppinger said that the borough is aware of the access issues at Crown Lane and is working with Serco to resolve the situation.

The Royal Borough encourages residents to continue to report missed bins at https://tinyurl.com/y5mmompg

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