Rubbish piles up as Havant borough residents slate council’s bin collection ‘failure’

RUBBISH collection delays are still affecting residents across Havant borough as bin bags pile up and bottle banks overflow.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:37 am

Apologies have been issued by Havant Borough Council and Norse South East, who say they are doing everything they can to get collections back on track.

Norse South East, the council’s service provider, has dismissed rumours of a strike and said delays are due to staff shortages.

The disruption has been ongoing for several weeks, with recycling as well as domestic, garden, and commercial waste not being picked up.

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Bottles at Elm Grove. Picture: Richard Coates

Leon Carter, who lives in Colbury Grove, Leigh Park, said that he is worried about potential health issues the non-collection of waste could create.

He said: ‘Both my bins are overflowing. All we have is another apology which is wearing thin.

‘As council tax paying residents that are not getting a public service, a statement as to what the issues are and when they honestly expect to resolve them is the least we should expect.

‘Both Norse South East and the council are failing residents.

Overflowing bins at St Mary's Road car park. Picture: Richard Coates

‘The bin men are working extremely hard and we thank them as a lack of staff is not their fault.’

Collections for garden waste and bulk bins for communal properties are currently running three days late across the borough.

Plans are already in place for bin collection crews to be out over the weekend to help catch-up with any remaining missed collections.

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Bins at the Station Road car park on Hayling Island. Picture: Richard Coates

Councillor Lulu Bowerman, lead commercial contracts, said: ‘We would like to offer our sincere apologies to those residents who have faced disruption to their bin collection.

‘There is no doubt the service has been encountering a number of operational challenges recently and I am so sorry for this.

‘We are doing everything we can to get it sorted as quickly as possible.

‘The team has been doing their utmost to provide our residents with a timely service and Norse South East is working hard to put things back on track. The aim is to collect missed bins as a matter of urgency.’

Bags and bottles at Hollow Lane car park. Picture: Richard Coates

Bottle banks have been overflowing in several Hayling Park car parks, including Station Road, St Marys Road, Elm Grove, and Hollow Lane.

Resident Richard Coates said: ‘The build up at the bottle banks is the same every week. If somebody slips and falls on broken glass, you’re in real trouble.’

Norse South East said rumours of strikes were ‘unfounded and simply untrue’.

The company is promising to recruit more drivers and train others so there are back-ups in place to cover shifts.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are continuing to work hard to minimise any delays in bin collections, with our teams putting in additional shifts to ensure performance levels are improved.

‘We are also addressing challenges surrounding staff shortages – impacted by a national shortage of qualified drivers – recruiting more drivers and training others so that we have back-ups in place to cover shifts.’

Rubbish in Leigh Park. Picture: Leon Carter

The council asks that residents continue to leave bins out as crews will be out as soon as possible.

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A backlog of uncollected rubbish. Picture: Leon Carter