Wiltshire Publications

Waste collection strike forces suspension of recycling services

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 INDUSTRIAL action has forced Wiltshire Council to temporarily suspend kerbside recycling services in the county for two weeks. 

Collections were suspended from 7th March and they are expected to resume next week from Monday 21st March following a dispute between Hills Municipal Collections and the GMB Union. 

The move was made to allow Wiltshire Council and Hills to prioritise household residual waste collections. 

Wiltshire Council say, “When recycling collections [black boxes and blue lidded bins] do resume, the waste teams will accept additional recycling materials that have been stockpiled during this time. This means people will be able to leave out additional materials in separate bags/suitable containers by their bins if they can’t fit it in their containers.” 

Announcing the suspension of recycling services, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for waste, cllr Dr Mark McClelland, said last week, “Despite the industrial action, we still have managed to complete many waste rounds across the county, and we thank people for their patience as we look to catch-up on those missed residual household waste collections as quickly as possible, and these have to be the priority. 

“Due to the position of the pickets at Churchfields, it meant that frustratingly no vehicles were able to get through at that depot on Monday (7th March), which resulted in police being called to the site. This has had a knock-on effect on our collection services. Similar difficulties with vehicles being blocked from leaving were experienced at the Riverway depot early on Tuesday morning (8th March). 

“We always expected that collections during this period were going to be fluid and we apologise for the inconvenience this is causing, but we’re doing everything we can to minimise the disruption during this complex and unprecedented time. 

“One of our contingency plans, which we hoped we wouldn’t need to implement, was to temporarily suspend recycling services. This means we can prioritise general waste collections, and people should leave their general waste bin out at 7am on their usual collection day, and it will be emptied – though it may be a day or so late. 

“We know it’s not ideal but we ask that people keep their kerbside recycling back and take their black boxes and blue lidded bins in until their scheduled collection day after 21st March, or please take the materials to your nearest household recycling centre, as they are operating as normal. 

“This dispute is between Hills and the GMB Union, and we hope it is resolved as quickly as possible, so residents can continue to benefit from the range of collections we provide.” 

This change does not affect general household waste or garden waste collections. People are asked to continue to put out their household waste and garden waste bins on their scheduled collection day by 7am, and if they’re not collected, to leave them out and where possible they will be collected the next day.