Res­i­dents are asked to be pa­tient

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Rubbish Collection Update -

De­spite count­less com­plaints about the new refuse and re­cy­cling col­lec­tion, the con­trac­tors be­hind the ser­vice say they are “com­fort­able” with the “per­for­mance lev­els” so far.

How­ever, waste firm Biffa, which started work­ing with Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil in April this year, has now apol­o­gised to res­i­dents fol­low­ing crit­i­cism about un-emp­tied refuse and re­cy­cling wheelie bins.

A Biffa spokesman said: “We apol­o­gise to all res­i­dents who are not happy with th­ese very early stages of the new ser­vice roll-out.

“Whilst this is no con­so­la­tion to those per­son­ally af­fected, we have in­tro­duced a dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent ser­vice to over 50,000 house­holds and, over­all, are com­fort­able with per­for­mance lev­els at this early stage.

“Biffa has im­ple­mented new and very suc­cess­ful ways of col­lect­ing refuse and re­cy­cling for a num­ber of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties over the past few years.

“In our ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence, they all have some­thing in com­mon: serv- ice lev­els are al­ways af­fected in the first few weeks or so but th­ese prob­lems do di­min­ish fairly quickly in both fre­quency and sever­ity.”

The 10-year con­tract be­tween Biffa and ABC was signed last year, and in part­ner­ship with Maid­stone and Swale coun­cils, will cost a to­tal of £86 mil­lion.

ABC said the new ser­vice would re­sult in a £5 mil­lion sav­ing.

Bosses from Biffa ad­mit­ted they an­tic­i­pated dis­rup­tions in the early weeks of the roll-out and ex­plained that some rounds in Ash­ford were not fully com­pleted be­cause crews were hav­ing to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with new routes, new equip­ment and new ways of work­ing.

The Biffa spokesman added: “Crews have also been deal­ing with an ex­traor­di­nar­ily high vol­ume of re­cy­cling as res­i­dents have been stock­pil­ing ma­te­ri­als for many weeks.”

Biffa added that while it is ex­pect­ing the vol­ume of waste to set­tle down in the com­ing weeks, it asks for res­i­dents’ pa­tience.

The Biffa spokesman added: “On be­half of all Biffa’s man­agers and crews who are work­ing hard to get the ser­vice right in very hot con­di­tions, I would ask all Ash­ford res­i­dents to be pa­tient and un­der­stand­ing.

“The ser­vice will re­turn to its pre­vi­ous high stan­dards.

“Res­i­dents are asked to en­sure that they put out the right wheeled bin and other col­lec­tion con­tain­ers on the cor­rect day, and to en­sure that th­ese are clearly vis­i­ble at their prop­erty edge.

“If bins are not col­lected, res­i­dents should leave them out for col­lec­tion in the fol­low­ing day or so.”

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