Macclesfield missed bin collections: HGV staff crisis and COVID to blame says Prestbury councillor

  Posted: 08.09.21 at 16:43 by Belinda Ryan, Local Democracy Reporter

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Bin collections have been disrupted in some areas of Cheshire East over the past couple of weeks because of the impact of Covid and the availability of HGV drivers.

Macclesfield streets Lyme Green Park and London Road (including offroads) have not had their garden bins collected.

This is among the 24 streets across our borough who have not had their bins collected of late.

Cheshire East has managed to deliver local essential services throughout the pandemic and, unlike some local authorities, has maintained bin collections.

Prestbury councillor Paul Findlow (Con) said Cheshire East had ‘done rather well compared to our peers both generally and in relation, specifically, to refuse collection and disposal’.

He added: “But I, and I believe some others, have had a good number of reports recently of missed bins, including missed assisted bin collections, which has given rise to concern.

The Prestbury councillor has served the Macclesfield village since 2008.

"Is there an issue here, and how can we address it?"

The councillor, who lives in Prestbury's Broadwalk added: “I know it’s mixed in, not simply with coronavirus impact on staffing and attendance levels, but also with HGV personnel availability who are suitably qualified to drive the lorries.”

Council leader Sam Corcoran (Lab) praised the staff for keeping the service running under such challenging circumstances, especially when a number had had to self-isolate because they had been pinged or tested positive.

“That meant that some of the operatives were not the normal operatives and that did unfortunately mean that there were more missed bins than normal because the people doing that work were not the people who were used to doing the rounds, and although we do have very good systems in place that personal knowledge does always help,” said Cllr Corcoran.

“So we did have more missed bins than we would have liked, but we kept the wheelie bin collections going throughout.”

The inconsistent bin collecting comes at the time of the closure of Congleton tip.

Cheshire East’s chief executive Lorraine O’Donnell said this was something which was being monitored from a business continuity perspective on a really regular basis, both within Cheshire East Council and working with Ansa.

“All I would say is we’ve been managing that really well over the last few months,” said the chief executive.

“It’s been different challenges at different phases of the pandemic.

“There are a number of labour supply issues for us that we will need to continue to track, not necessarily related to Covid, so this is an issue that we’re currently monitoring and managing and we’ll need to continue to do so over the next few months.”

Ansa Environmental Services Ltd. deliver waste and recycling services for our borough council.

Low pay, Brexit, and a general shortage of interest in becoming a lorry driver are also reasons for the bin collecting bust in Macc. (Image - Cheshire East Council)

The Middlewich company were contacted for comment.

They said: "Due to operational issues, we have been unable to complete waste collections in some parts of Alsager, Congleton, Macclesfield and HolmesChapel."

You can learn more about the contractors here.

Macclesfield: click here to find your bin collection day.

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London Road and Lyme Green Park were affected in Macc.

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