elmbridge council garden waste 1000x480 - Elmbridge Council Garden Waste Collection - One Off Collection Announced!

Stock image of garden clippings and secateurs with recycling container and lawn rake in the background. Copy space.

Oct 21st - Elmbridge Council Garden Waste Collection - One Off Collection Announced!

The Elmbridge Council Garden Waste collection service is currently suspended for the foreseeable future, however Elmbridge Council have just made the following announcement regarding a one off collection which will be either week of 1 November or week of 8 November, depending on your location in the borough.

See Elmbridge Council's full anouncement below:

"Dear Garden Waste Customer

First of all, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding with the suspension of the garden waste collection service in Elmbridge. This was a difficult decision but one we felt necessary in order to protect the core waste collection services in the borough.

We knew such an abrupt stop to the service was difficult for many of our customers which is why we have been doing all we can to rectify the situation.

I cannot tell you at this time when the service will return in full, but I can confirm that we have arranged a one-off garden waste collection so that we can clear those bins that still had garden waste inside when the service was suspended.

Over the next few days we are sending you an email or letter letting you know the date of your collection, which will be either week of 1 November or week of 8 November, depending on your location in the borough. If the crew are delayed in getting to you, please leave your bin out until it is picked up, we will keep our website updated with relevant information.

Continued efforts to recruit HGV drivers

I am sorry to say that we have not seen a significant improvement in the availability of HGV drivers , however, we continue with our efforts to recruit and retain drivers to allow us to once again deliver a robust and efficient garden waste collection service.

In the meantime, once this one-off collection has been made please do not refill your bin until we provide details of when the collection service can be re-established.

Our website has information on those efforts, as well as details on how you can dispose of your garden waste while your regular collection service is suspended.

As soon as we are at a place when we can resume the service, I will let you know and, in the meantime, I thank you again for your understanding and patience.

Kind regards

Robert Moran, Chief Executive, Elmbridge Borough Council"

Sep 9th - Elmbridge Council Garden Waste Collection - Suspended Indefinitely

As you may have been aware, following the recent temporary suspension of Elmbridge Council's Garden Waste Collection Service which weas due to resume from the 10th of September we have just received the following news from the Chief Executive of Elmbridge Council, Mr Robert Moran, that garden waste services will now be suspended indefinitely.

You can read the communication from Elmbridge Council in full below:

9 September update

From the Chief Executive of Elmbridge Borough Council

(including full details of links referenced in the original communication - all detailed at the end of this post)

The Suspension of the Garden Waste Collection Service in Elmbridge

It is important that I send you this message to explain why you have experienced disruption to your garden waste service over the last few weeks and to detail the path ahead.

An apology

Firstly, I want to apologise to you for the service disruption. I understand how inconvenient and frustrating a disrupted service can be; especially a service you pay for. The reason is almost entirely the result of the national shortage of HGV drivers which you will have seen widely reported.

Over the summer we have been working with our contractor Amey to ensure the waste crews are deployed to maximum capacity. Overtime has been made available, pay and retention bonuses have been announced and we have trawled the employment agencies to seek additional drivers. The fact is that HGV drivers are in great demand and there are not enough to go around.

Prioritising core services

Throughout this time, our aim has been to prioritise the core waste services (rubbish and recycling). Which is why we decided to have a rolling programme of garden waste suspensions across the boroughs in the waste service contract (Elmbridge, Mole Valley, Surrey Heath and Woking). While this solution helped initially, additional driver shortages and our determination to protect the core waste collection service has brought us to the unfortunate conclusion that we must suspend garden waste collection services across Elmbridge for the foreseeable future.

Suspension of garden waste services

The suspension is effective immediately and will run for some months to come. At this time, I am reluctant to put a date on the resumption of services until we know the results of our mitigation efforts. When we can provide a date for the resumption of services, I will update you again.

This is a huge blow for many of you, especially those with bins full of garden waste expecting it to be emptied from next week. We told you in good faith that we would resume services after 10 September, but the situation has worsened since then and I can only apologise that our message to you has had to change.

What we are doing

It is vital for us to protect the core waste services in Elmbridge, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to suspend garden waste services.

There is a national shortage of HGV drivers as you will have seen widely reported across the media. Facing this challenge, Joint Waste Solutions (JWS), who manage waste and recycling services for us, and our contractor Amey have implemented the following to help the current situation:

Financial incentives: drivers are being incentivised with recruitment and retention bonuses and employees are being offered referral fees for recommending friends and family for employment.

Recruiting new drivers: If you have a HGV licence or you are interested in switching jobs and getting your HGV licence, please contact our contactor Amey.

Retraining current crew: Non driving crew are being enrolled in HGV training; this does take a few months though.

Agency drivers: Amey have approached numerous recruitment agencies looking for drivers to work for us but due to the high demand, they will accept the more lucrative offers.

Other contractors: We have approached other contractors with a view to sub-contracting in order to fulfil our garden waste obligations but the whole sector is being impacted by the driver shortage.

Apprenticeships: Government has revised the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship standard, with funding of £7,000 available per apprentice with a £3,000 grant to the employer for every apprentice employed on qualification. Amey will of course take advantage of this but as you expect training takes time, so this is a longer-term remedy.

Charity work programme: For those seeking work in the community, we have approached charities offering training and driver roles, this work is ongoing.

Recruitment promotion: we are promoting the driving roles far and wide. If you know anyone interested in changing career, please get in touch.

Government lobbying: together with industry bodies across the country, we are lobbying the Government to take immediate and urgent action before there are more serious implications caused by fewer drivers.

Increasing the opening times at local tips: working with our partners at Surrey County Council we will monitor tip queuing times and consider increasing opening hours if customer flow warrants.

What else?

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we will continue to update this page with measures we are taking to resolve the situation. If you have a suggestion, please do get in touch.

DO YOU HAVE A LOCAL BUSINESS?

We estimate that around 2000 Elmbridge residents will read this post in the next 2 days.

If you would like to get your business in front of our borough wide network please contact us on info@elmbridge.life or click thebutton below for more information about how The Elmbridge Life Network can get your business in front of potential local clients and customers.

What can I do with my garden waste?

If you currently have a bin full of garden waste, an option is to leave it until the service is resumed. I know this is not the answer you want but I also know that transporting garden waste directly from the bin to your local tip in your car can be unpleasant.

Please don’t add garden waste to your rubbish bin. This will increase overall waste tonnage across Elmbridge and will ultimately lead to that service being impacted and in the worst case disrupted.

If someone knocks on your door offering to take away your garden waste for a fee, you must ensure they are a licensed. If they fly-tip your garden waste, you are liable. Check a waste carrier's licence.

Burning garden waste is bad for the air quality around your home and bad for your relationship with your neighbours, never mind the impact the smoke has on those with asthma, long COVID and other respiratory issues.

Composting

Composting is an inexpensive, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable and nutrient rich food for your garden. It's easy to make and use.

Benefits for your garden

Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil's pH balance in check while helping to suppress plant disease. It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and it will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and flowers will love it!

This article from the BBC, discusses why more people are dealing with their green waste at home and includes a composting guide for beginners.



Reduce your waste across all your bins

If we can all reduce our waste by even a little, the waste collection crews can work more efficiently, making the service more robust. You will hear more from us on this in the weeks ahead, including an incentive scheme and more ideas to help us reduce the levels of domestic waste in Elmbridge but in the meantime, you could consider the following:

What about my subscription?



We will automatically extend your garden waste contract during the period of the suspension, therefore, you will not be paying for a service that we currently cannot provide. I recognise that a few subscribers may want to stop the service permanently. We will be updating our website in the coming weeks with information about how to request this.

This is not the type of correspondence I wanted to send. I have been incredibly proud of Elmbridge Borough Council’s response to the COVID pandemic over the last 18 months and the hard work and dedication it has taken for our services to keep going largely uninterrupted but as is often the case, national matters also impact Elmbridge and we feel that taking this action now will protect the core waste service. I hope you can understand, and I thank you for your patience while we work to find solutions. Please do keep up to date with the situation via our website, where you find more information on all the matters referenced in this correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Moran, Chief Executive, Elmbridge Borough Council