Households warned of ‘Christmas crisis’ for bin collections due to staff shortages

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Families are being warned about a lack of bin collection over Christmas as drivers are reportedly leaving their jobs to increase their pay by 60 percent.

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Bin lorry drivers – who earn around £25,000 a year on average – are said to be receiving salary deals of up to £40,000 to switch roles in supermarkets, food haulers or online retailers.

Residents on councils in London, Devon, Surrey and Peterborough have already reported collections being suspended or delayed. There have also been complaints of overflow and missed rounds in the areas affected by the shortage of staff.


The news comes amid an ongoing HGV driver shortage in the UK, which has led the government to issue 5,000 foreign lorry drivers with emergency visas to visit the UK – as a “short-term relief” for the Department of Transport (DFT) transport Refers. industry for the busy festive period.

With the amount of waste typically rising by around 30 per cent during the festive season, however, the industry warns that something desperately needs to be done.

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Jacob Heyler, executive director of the Environmental Services Association, said there is currently a 15 percent vacancy rate for drivers working for garbage contractors.

The situation is even worse in some areas, with council leaders in Devon warning that their area had a vacancy rate of up to 20 percent for bin lorry drivers.

Mr Heyler told Guardian That HGV drivers need to be included in the list of businesses facing shortages to avoid the “Christmas crisis”.

Meanwhile, Ribble Valley Council in Lancashire said last week six of its 13 drivers had quit and, according to reports, it was struggling to replace them.

Croydon Council in south London has warned locals about the “serious” impact on garbage collection services due to driver shortages, telling residents that their garbage workers will “get to you as soon as possible”.

Amey and Veolia, the two largest council waste service contractors, are now offering a £1,500 sign-up bonus to recruit bin lorry drivers.

“The shortage of heavy goods drivers is having a profound impact. If you are a driver you can go to the highest bidder and that is often the supermarket hauler. It’s raising costs for everyone,” explained Simon Allin, chief executive of the Recycling Association. Guardian.

A government spokesman said capacity has been increased for HGV driving tests.


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