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South Kesteven District Council denies major bin collection issues after Conservatives raise concerns





Council chiefs denied there are serious issues with bin services following complaints of missed collections.

Conservative councillors Sarah Trotter, Sue Woolley, and Nick Robins say residents across various South Kesteven District Council wards are experiencing significant issues with bin collections, causing inconvenience, frustration, and environmental concerns.

Despite formal complaints and contacts with councillors, the members say there has been a lack of effective resolution from SKDC in a number of instances, prompting questions about waste collection service management and responsiveness.

Coun Sarah Trotter with one of the bins which has had collection issues.
Coun Sarah Trotter with one of the bins which has had collection issues.

One resident of Coun Trotter's Lincrest ward has had issues with garden refuse since December, while residents of North Fen and South Fen Road have been reporting inconsistent schedules and partial collections for more than a year.

One resident in Swayfield informed their councillor of two weeks without bin collections.

The councillors believe there is a disproportionate impact on rural areas — which they believe is due to the distances lorries have to travel.

One of the bins which has had collection issues.
One of the bins which has had collection issues.

Coun Trotter noted difficulties earlier this year when the purple-lidded bins came into use, sparking a period known as “bin gate” which also saw a number of issues emerge.

“Thankfully with a bit of diplomacy and time, residents came around to the introduction of the purple bin and their recycling.

“I am hoping things are on an even keel now, but in my five years as ward councillor on a rural ward, the last eight months have had their challenges with bin collection,” she said.

Councillor Sue Woolley.
Councillor Sue Woolley.

Councillor Woolley said issues in the Morton area had been going on for almost 12 months and also felt the issues with the purple-lidded bins exacerbated the problem.

“I accept this is a separate issue but when you factor in the failed collections, the SKDC waste collection service is simply not performing as it should,” she said, highlighting a recent example of missed collections after a collection vehicle broke down.

“Those residents who live in the particularly isolated spots within the village are most badly affected,” she said.

“In fact the one consistency we have noticed is that the more rural the area, the more often the bins are missed/forgotten.”

Councillor Nick Robins.
Councillor Nick Robins.

Coun Robins added: “It seems that the waste services… have declined somewhat with no real plan to improve the services offered to tax paying residents.

“It also appears to be largely a rural issue but incidents district-wide are becoming commonplace.”

Councillors who visited the depot on Alexander Road, in Grantham, last Wednesday (May 15) and were reassured and encouraged by a meeting with officers that things might improve.

South Kesteven District Council's cabinet member for environment and waste Coun Rhys Baker
South Kesteven District Council's cabinet member for environment and waste Coun Rhys Baker

SKDC’s waste collection portfolio holder Coun Rhys Baker (Ind), said claims of serious problems with their waste collection service were exaggerated and incorrect.

Despite managing the collection of around 326,000 bins monthly over a large area, he said only 424 bins were missed in April 2024, reflecting a 99.87% collection success rate.

“To suggest there are serious problems with the waste collection service is both inappropriate and inaccurate,” said Coun. Baker.

“A sense of perspective is required as South Kesteven District Council empties around 326,000 bins per month and throughout the whole of April 2024 only 424 were missed - a 99.87% collection rate over an area of 350 square miles.

“Due to the huge scale of the waste collection operation it is, unfortunately, inevitable that issues such as staff turnover and vehicle breakdowns can lead to isolated examples of the service falling short for which, of course, the council apologises.

“In order to minimise breakdowns all waste vehicles undergo daily checks and undergo a full mechanical check every six weeks.

“Councillors who visited the depot on Wednesday were informed that when a missed bin is reported the team returns to collect it at the earliest opportunity.

“They were also advised that immediate action was always taken to tackle points raised.”

Coun Baker also said the authority is hoping to further improve its service, by investing in a new depot and enhancing communication via social media to keep residents informed about any collection issues and solutions.

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