Green bin bottleneck
By Cllr Vilnis Vesma
A resident on the outskirts of Newent complained to me that a green waste reccyling bin that he ordered in March still has not been delivered. I took this up with the relevant contracts manager and Cabinet member. Apparently the problem has arisen because Covid restrictions have prevented people collecting any kind of recycling container in person, so everything is now having to be delivered. This, together with increased demand because of lockdown, meant that the system could not cope with the March/April surge in green bin orders. However, they have finally "found the resources" to accelerate deliveries. I don't entirely buy the explanation: they have been working under Covid restrictions for over a year now and the contractor should have foreseen the surge. I'll be asking awkward questions on this and keeping an eye on performance.
I've made the following points:
1. Having a fixed license year (April to March) is bound to create a spike in demand and the contractor should have anticipated that;
2. The problem of surges in demand could be alleviated by having a more rational pricing regime in which new users at least can buy their license at any time and just pay for the part of the year that remains;
3. Alternatively have annual licences with flexible start dates.
I heard about a rebate scheme that is being considered for people that have been left without bins that they have paid for, but I did not think it was very fair and am pushing for something more reasonable.