Richmond Council will be giving its garden waste collection customers five free months of the service, as compensation for recent disruptions caused by the crew shortages.
Throughout July and early August, there was a significant increase in the number of people required to self-isolate after being contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. Combined with a national shortage in collection vehicle drivers, there were not enough crew to continue collections of all waste streams.
The Council made a logistical decision to prioritise household waste/food collections followed by blue and black box recycling collections and deploy all available staff to those collection rounds. This meant garden waste collections had to be suspended.
As compensation for the suspended service, existing subscription holders will be given free collections up to 31 March 2022. All subscribers have been contacted directly with further details.
Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee said:
“The service is now back up and running. Since the government changed the self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated people, we have seen a positive impact on the availability of collection crew.
“I am grateful for the patience and understanding shown by residents while the service was suspended and I am pleased we have been able to come up with this solution.”
– from a Richmond Council press release - 31 August 2021