What A Load of Rubbish!
Council brands own service waste and recycling service 'unacceptable'
Hounslow Council has branded its own service 'unacceptable' after residents complained in their 1,000's about the new waste and recycling scheme
Cllr Barbara Reid issued an apology to residents on behalf of Hounslow Council for the "unacceptable performance" by waste and recycling contractor SITA.
Thousands of residents have encountered problems with the new services which came into effect three weeks ago with calls to the Council's 020 8583 5555 number almost double what they were before the new scheme began.
Underestimation of volume by the contractor means that recycling trucks need to return to the depot to unload before going back to pick up the rest a practice which has resulted in numerous missed collections. Chiswick has been the worst affected area in the borough and it is also the area furthest away from the depot.
"Chiswick is the biggest recycler and unfortunately where the major issues are. They are residents that wanted better recycling and are the ones making the most of the service." She added, "We don't want to people to give up, we need to harness their goodwill and make things easy for them, we need to get it right. We will get it right."
Additional personnel have been assigned to the Council's call centre to deal with residents' complaints. Missed collections are the biggest issue along with loss of containers, and emptied containers 'strewn across front gardens and pavements'.
Cllr Reid asked residents whose collections had been missed to call the Council. She pledged that it would be picked up the following day. She also admitted that there were some other service issues that were being taken up with the management at SITA including bags and bins not being replaced correctly.
James Farquhar from SITA UK said, "We have had some teething problems since we introduced new recycling services in Hounslow. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and we would like to reassure residents that we are working hard to resolve these issues as quickly as possible."
When asked about the Council's timeframe for improvements, Cllr Reid said, "With immediate effect. We are meeting with management at SITA to ensure that the terms of their contract is met. If not we will call in the default mechanism."
Council Officer Mike Jordan added, "SITA are paid by performance so they'll suffer in their pockets."
Labour Councillors have been highly critical of new service claiming the issues have arisen due to the Tory administration's 'lack of organisation'.
"One one-day alone this week, 1700 people managed to get through and complain. We can only guess how many got an engaged tone. On top of this hundreds are emailing every day."
Labour stated that the problems would put residents off recycling. "It also means that our streets will get even dirtier - its already so bad that one survey said that Hounslow's streets were amongst the dirtiest in the country" said Cllr Cadbury.
If you are encountering problems with your collections please email email@example.com or call 020 8583 5555.
Collection days can be checked here.
March 18, 2009