The below is an update regarding recent uplift in missed collections across the city, explaining why it has happened and what is being done about it.
Please feel free to send any questions to Phélim or Hannah regarding this.
Update October 1st
We have 5 Farid Trucks which are special trucks used to empty the communal waste bins, of which 3 have to be operational every day in order to run the normal service. Regrettably we have had 4 of these trucks off the road for the past couple of days.
We are pushing hard to try and get the others back on the road asap but in the meantime we can only run one of our 3 collection services every day. We think it is unlikely that we will have more than one truck operational tomorrow – we may be able to get another truck on the road during the course of the day. While we have this problem we have a streets crew driving around the routes picking up side waste but of course this builds up again very quickly.
A proposal will come to committee next week that proposes a move away from this bin system, which relies on specialist trucks and bins imported from Italy, towards a more standardised system as the current system does not give us enough flexibility and the systems themselves and the companies we have to deal with to maintain it are very unreliable.
I am sorry that in the meantime it is having such a negative impact on the cleanliness of the city and on residents and yourselves but we are trying to sort it out asap.
Update September 22nd
The recent fire at Veolia’s Waste Transfer Station at Hollingdean on 25 August has had a huge effect on our ability to carry out our normal collection service. Since then, our refuse drivers have had to drive to Newhaven to drop off their loads (a three hours round journey) or at the Hove Household Waste Recycling Site, with a one and a half hour wait, both depending on traffic.
We have been able to tip recycling at the Veolia site, but the time delays in dropping off waste mean the number of overall collections we can make daily are less.
Added to this, we have also experienced a higher than normal spate of vehicles breakdown – which seems to happen every summer – plus there’s been a high number of driver shortages caused by sudden and unexpected sickness at a time when we have vacancies and during the summer break.
Thankfully, the Hollingdean Waste Transfer Station is due to reopen this Monday 23 which will allow us to begin tipping there again. This will help raise the number of collections and drop offs significantly and will allow us to get back to normal very soon.
We have also investigated the cause of the vehicle breakdowns and believe we have identified the reason, which is a build-up of rubbish underneath the compactor. We have begun measures to address this, so it should not be problem going forward in the future.
We have now recruited to the vacant posts and engaged a specialist agency to help provide emergency cover when we need it. Staff are also coming back from sickness and we will hopefully have a full complement of drivers next week.
To help tackle fly-tipping, we will soon be using mobile CCTV cameras in hotspot areas. Being mobile, these cameras can be moved to where they’re needed in a bid to catch the culprits.