Less than a week after we exposed the shocking performance of BCBC’s waste and recycling contract many of you are now faced with a FOUR weeks between waste collections!
On Monday, whilst our children went to school, we went to work and the post containing our Council Tax demands was being delivered, some parts of the county expected a late collection of their bins due to the ice, By the time the children came home and we came home from work we were told their bins would not be collected because of “adverse weather”.
BCBC allowed their contractor to miss collections in many, mainly valley communities, because they claimed the roads and pavements were still too icy and slippery. Some areas had their recycling collected but not refuse, others no collection at all. How can it be too dangerous to collect recycling but not residual waste and how can it be deemed to be too dangerous to pick up both when the buses and cars that ferry our children and their teachers to school went about their business unhindered?
Then to add insult to injury BCBC tell you that rather than Kier presenting a plan to catch up with collections there will be no catch up and you have to drag your rubbish and/or recycling back through your house and store it for another two weeks until the next scheduled collection! (Don’t forget about the Easter Bank holiday!)
Residents were told to put their extra recycling in open plastic bags if their containers were already full including food waste. Those who can’t bring them inside were told to leave them on the streets, not only causing a health and safety issue but an environmental issue too. In some of the most affected areas the residents are stepping up to help elderly and disabled members of their community cope during this period. The worst part of all is if it is still too icy for workers then why is it okay for the most vulnerable people in our communities to pick up heavy loads and cart them through their living spaces, especially since many valley homes are 3 stories with the garden and kitchen’s below street level and others with steep steps up to their properties..
You are angry and we don’t blame you.
The contract is quite clear that only BCBC’s “Supervising Officer” can authorise the suspension of waste collection and that their word is final. There’s no hiding from this. It was BCBC’s decision.
It’s also unclear why you have to wait until your next scheduled collection. The contract says that if the collection is suspended for part of a day the missed collections must be recovered within a week only if a whole day’s collection is suspended is the contractor allowed to wait until the next round.
But if recycling was collected how can this possibly have been applied correctly? If some streets in areas had one or both collected how can this have been applied correctly? Notwithstanding this, why is such a clause allowing a four week interval in the contract at all?
We are told that BCBC councillors are not allowed to see the contract. We have it and we have made it available to all, including councillors of all parties. We urge them to read it and use it to scrutinise and force change. It is time for those who represent you to put party loyalties aside and demand change.
Due to the failure penalty points levied since April, it’s possible that BCBC could have the right to terminate the contract. As a result of this week’s fiasco, one Independent BCBC councillor in one of the most affected wards has already called for this.
Unless this administration gets a grip of their contractor once and for all and QUICKLY, those councillors calling for contract termination will grow and with no overall majority, this administration faces the real prospect of facing and losing a motion to that effect in the near future.