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‘Not good enough’: Staff shortages leave Fife recycling centres closed over weekend

Cowdenbeath recycling centre in Fife
Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly recycling centres were closed over the weekend.

Recycling centres have been shut in Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath, with Fife Council blaming staff shortages.

The centres in both towns were closed over the weekend, leaving locals with nowhere to take rubbish.

Cowdenbeath Recycling Centre closed on Saturday and Lochgelly was shut the following day.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley told The Courier the situation is “not good enough” as he called for a review.

He says those responsible must be held to account for failures and set out how the reliability of services will be improved, amid fears closures will lead to fly-tipping.

The Labour MSP said: “Fife Council is clearly having problems keeping many of its environmental services at a level that is required to deliver for the people of Fife and must undertake a review of the capacity of these services.”

Alex Rowley.
Alex Rowley.

He added: “Fly tipping has been on the increase and the failure to open the recycling centres will lead to even greater problems.”

It comes after council bosses in the Kingdom said more than 4,000 green bins in Dunfermline and West Fife went unemptied in recent weeks as staff struggled to complete collections.

Refuse collection services in Fife have come under scrutiny in recent months, with senior managers told the “get a grip”.

A mounting backlog was reported in April after high levels of staff absence was blamed on coronavirus.

Contingencies needed, local councillor says

But local councillor Darren Watt, who represents Cowdenbeath, says contingencies should be put in place for periods of absence and annual leave.

“This simply isn’t good enough and local residents deserve a much better service,” he said.

“Whilst I appreciate there could be several reasons for staff shortages including sickness and annual leave, the lack of sufficient contingency plans for recycling centres and waste services in general is very concerning, especially at a time when Fife Council are consistently failing to collect household bins.”

Conservative Councillor Darren Watt has criticised the lack of a contingency plan.
Conservative Councillor Darren Watt has criticised the lack of a contingency plan.

Fife resource solutions chief executive Robin Baird said: “We took the difficult decision to close Lochgelly Recycling Centre on Sunday due to staff shortages.

“Residents were directed to alternative nearby sites at Dunfermline or Dalgety Bay.

“We’re really sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. The centre is open as normal this week.”

Staff shortages blamed for unemptied bins in Fife as council told to ‘get a grip’

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