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Update on delays to Recycling collections in Mendip
18th September 2014 - New effort on driver shortage collection delays
Somerset Waste Partnership and its collections contractor Kier are stepping up their efforts to tackle a driver shortage that is causing delays to recycling collections.
Both the recovery from recession and new EU regulations for commercial drivers are causing a nationwide shortage of HGV drivers by limiting the supply while increasing the demand.
The worst-affectedSomersetdistrict is Mendip, which is served by Kier’s Evercreech depot, though some impact in late or delayed collections has been felt in other parts of the county.
Continuing driver shortages could mean delayed kerbside collections of recycling in Mendip and elsewhere for another six weeks or possibly more.
Residents should leave uncollected containers out until the end of the afternoon and, if necessary, put containers out by7amthe next day, including Saturdays.
If the collection is not made in two working days, including Saturdays, the most effective way to report a missed collection is by sending your name, address with postcode, phone, email and details of the issue to your district council customer services. Their contact details can be found at “Contact Us” on www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.
Recycling collection crews will be working late and on Saturdays to catch up, within 24 hours in most cases. Refuse and, for subscribers, garden waste collections, are not usually affected.
SWP’s recycling vehicles need HGV class C licensed drivers, who are subject to an EU driver directive introduced to harmonise training, road safety and fuel efficiency from 9 September.
Since then, all drivers of goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes must have undertaken 35 hours of training in the previous five years to obtain their Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
As well as a national shortage of 82,000 CPC-qualified drivers, Kier’s efforts to recruit and retain drivers also face competition from local and national haulage firms due to the economic recovery.
The location of Kier’s Evercreech depot has contributed, as unlike other waste collection centres, it is not near a large town, such as Bridgwater, Yeovil orTaunton.
In addition to adverts on vehicles and in local press, and using a range of specialist recruitment agencies, Kier has been transferring drivers in from elsewhere inSomersetand beyond.
Kier is seeking all classes of drivers, and is offering them free CPC training. Anyone interested should call Kier’s recruitment line on 0845 4675901.