A photograph taken by residents showing the build-up of refuse at The Cedars, Uckfield.

Wealden Council apologises for refuse collection problems

Wealden Council has apologised to residents of Cedar Drive in Uckfield for problems they are experiencing with refuse collection.

Alison and Richard Mills, who sent a photograph of a build-up of rubbish said: “Despite our best endeavours ie speaking with Wealden Council on several occasions, emailing Wealden Council on several occasions, The Cedars in Uckfield appear to have been removed from the bin collection service.”

A council spokesman said access to the bins was at the rear of properties via a back gate. They had been passing on details to Kier crews about the different collection arrangements for the properties but familiarisation was taking some time. “We would like to apologise to the residents of Cedar Drive for the problems they are experiencing.”

The council leader Bob Standley and the cabinet member for customer services Rowena Moore had already issued the following statement:

“First and foremost we, on behalf of Wealden District Council, wish to apologise to the households who have not received the high level service of waste collection that Wealden residents have rightfully become accustomed to and require.

“Kier took over as contractor in April and maintained the previous rounds and collection method until July when it changed to what should have been an enhanced service ensuring more items are recycled at the kerbside. Whilst the majority of Wealden’s 65,000 households have received the correct service, there are a significant number that have not.

“Apologies can only go so far. Residents have been asking what we are doing to rectify the problems. Our conversations with Kier have been robust, both with local management and the Managing Director of Kier Environmental, and they have been and continue to put in considerable extra resources in staff and vehicles to bring the service levels back to normal.

“The numbers of missed bins have reduced considerably but there is still more to do particularly in the more rural areas. The costs of these extra resources, including weekend working, will be paid for by Kier not the taxpayer.

“The responsibility for the overall service remains with this Council and we would wish to assure residents that Wealden staff, councillors and Kier including operators on the vehicles, are working hard to rectify the problems.

“We’ve been asked if there are extra charges to Kier for non-delivery of the contracted service. There are clauses in the contract which we have raised and are pursuing this with the contractor.

“The volume of calls has put pressure on our contact centre in Hailsham. Thank-you for your patience and we ask you to continue to report missed bins, by telephone or email, simply giving an address and postcode and the collection that’s been missed, so these can be logged and passed to Kier.

“We will continue to work to restore the high service levels expected as quickly as possible.”

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