58,000 missed bin collections in Leeds since June 2015

Leeds City Council has been accused of 'going backwards' on waste disposal after it was revealed more than 58,000 missed bin collections have been reported to the authority in the past three years.

Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 6:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 6:52 pm
58,000 bin collections were missed in the past three years.

A report, set to go before members of Leeds City Council’s environment scrutiny committee, shows 58,878 individual collections have been missed between June 2015 and August 2018.

A member of the council who requested the report said there are “fundamental problems” with the city’s waste disposal.

The report broke down the number of missed collections by ward. Morley North suffered the most, with 3,930 missed collections in the three and a half year period.

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It also showed that more than 14,000 of the missed collections took place in the first eight months of 2018.

Some of the reasons given for missed collections were vehicle breakdowns, inaccessible roads and crew members being unfamiliar with routes.

But Coun Mark Dobson (Ind) said this is not good enough, adding: “We have to factor in that we have done fortnightly.

“This means if you have a collection missed, it’s 28 days you have to then get through. In the summer months that can create environmental health issues, as well as you having a maggot-infested bin on your drive.

“If you have roadworks on your road, for example, there should be an agreement that they should come back at some point.

“If you tell them your bin has been missed, you get, ‘oh dear, what a shame, but we can’t go back’.

“That is not good enough. Something has been going radically wrong.”

The data includes bins missed that were still within 48 hours of the due date when reported online. It also showed almost half of all missed bins reported were black bins.

Just over a quarter all of missed bins are green bins, and just under a quarter of reports are for brown garden waste bins.

The missed collections were also listed by council wards, the worst offender being Morley North, with 3930 missed collections over the three year period, compared to Guiseley and Rawdon, which only saw 713 missed collections.

Conservative councillor Paul Wadsworth, the group’s spokesman for environmental services, said there was a “postcode lottery” when it came to waste disposal.

He said: “Bin collections are one of the largest and most visible services that the council provides and Leeds’ council taxpayers rightly expect their bins to be collected on time as scheduled.

“But the figures since 2015 make for grim reading: 58,878 reports of missed bins represents thousands of households left frustrated and inconvenienced by the council’s performance.

“There is also great inconsistency across the city, with some wards reporting under 200 missed collections over the course of a year, whilst other wards show well over 1,000. Many would consider that degree of disparity to amount to a postcode lottery.

“I’m pleased that scrutiny is looking into this matter and hope that they will be able to get to the bottom of what’s going wrong and how the council intends to put it right.

“With plans on the horizon to rationalise bin routes, there is clearly the potential for the situation to get worse not better, and any such plans will need to be handled very carefully.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “As a council we are committed to providing a reliable and efficient refuse collection across the city and are proud of our continuing collection rate of at least 99.9 per cent.

“Unfortunately however there are occasions when bins are missed due to access problems, adverse weather or unforeseen operational issues which can lead to some addresses being missed. If these type of issues do occur, we do everything possible to empty the bins within 48 hours.”

The report is set to be discussed by the council’s environment, housing and communities scrutiny board on Wednesday, October 3.