Senior Flintshire councillor explains why recycling bins haven’t been collected in run up to New Year amid criticism
A senior Flintshire councillor has explained why recycling bins haven’t been collected between Christmas and New Year amid public criticism.
Calendars were delivered to residents across the county in October which informed them that only food waste would be picked up by bin men during the festive period.
However, confusion was caused after the Flintshire Council website wrongly showed that other recycling would also be gathered.
It has led to complaints on social media, with one resident describing the decision not to take plastic and cardboard items as “stupid” when many people have lots of packaging left over after Christmas.
The local authority’s deputy leader Carolyn Thomas has now spoken out to defend the move, which she said was due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the availability of workers.
In a lengthy post on Facebook, the council’s cabinet member for streetscene and countryside also said she believed bin collectors deserved the time off.
She said: “Many of the workforce have been affected by the pandemic and it would have been difficult to judge if enough operatives could be brought in to cover rounds who are not self-isolating and would work bank holidays so we did not want to raise expectation if it could not be delivered.
“In addition to the above the workforce is working in safe bubbles to limit virus transfer which means crews cannot be mixed.
“It would have been worse if recycling was put out and it could not be collected.
“Also, in my personal view, the operatives deserved some time off.
“It is one of the toughest jobs in the council, they collect from 1,500 properties in all weather, (and) waste has increased significantly during the pandemic especially bottles and cardboard.”
Cllr Thomas said food waste was being picked up as it would otherwise go mouldy and attract vermin.
Despite the reduction in collections, the council’s household recycling centres have remained open every day except Christmas Day for people to take their refuse.
The Treuddyn representative said the authority’s focus would be on catching up with bin rounds in the New Year.
She said: “There have been more frequent black bin collections before and every household will have one next week.
“Residents can put out more than one sack of recycling and it is going to be a tough catch up week next week with all hands to the deck.
“The operatives are going to be working the Sunday which is normally a day off on the rota.
“I know it is not convenient and we are trying to encourage everyone to recycle but I am asking if people can work with us on this one.”
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com