Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Over 51,000 Fife bin collections missed or delayed this year

51,000 Fife bin collections missed or delayed this year
51,000 bin collections were missed or delayed.

More than 51,000 bin collections have been missed or delayed across Fife this year as staff sickness and vehicle breakdowns cripple the service.

Around 27,000 household bins were missed completely in just two weeks.

And a further 24,500 were uplifted late as refuse collectors struggled to complete their rounds.

electric bin lorries
An ageing fleet of bin lorries and staff absences are to blame for missed Fife bin collections.

Council leaders have revealed a series of measures to relieve the pressure but warned further disruption is possible.

Hundreds of household collections were missed in all but six of the last 20 weeks.

And numbers ranged from 500 in one week to 22,000 in another.

Some five million bins were collected during the same period.

Environment spokeswoman Jan Wincott said refuse collectors managed to catch up in all but two of those weeks thanks to overtime shifts.

The Labour councillor said officers were working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

But she conceded: “It’s a bad situation we find ourselves in.”

New bin lorries and extra staff

Fife Council leader David Ross told The Courier at the end of May that one of his immediate priorities was to “get a grip” of the bin collection issue.

Covid-related absences have led to sickness rates of up to 30% among staff.

In addition, an ageing fleet of bin lorries means frequent breakdowns.

Mrs Wincott said 13 new refuse vehicles were ordered at the start of the year.

Councillor Jan Wincott
Jan Wincott says the council is taking action to resolve missed Fife bin collections.

But similar issues across the country means a wait of six to nine months for delivery.

“We hope to get those delivered by the end of the year, hopefully the autumn, but I can’t promise,” she said.

“Delivery of the vehicles will alleviate the situation but right now we have to support all our staff in doing the best job they can in difficult circumstances.”

Fife Council also hopes to bring in more bodies as quickly as possible.

Mrs Wincott said: “One of the actions that can be taken by the service is to recruit more operatives.

“The service is carrying out more in-house training.

“And the recruitment team is working with HR colleagues on a fast track programme to get more people on board.

Overtime is also offered to catch up on most routes.”

National driver shortage hampering Fife bin collections

A national shortage of HGV drivers is hampering recruitment efforts, however.

“To train an HGV driver takes around 12 months,” Mrs Wincott said.

“Agency staff, who we would normally ask to cover staff shortages, just aren’t available because everybody is trying to recruit.

“There are high sickness levels of between 20% and 30% and this cripples the service because cover can’t be arranged at short notice.

“We’re getting more bodies on the ground as quickly as we can.

“We’re also offering overtime as often as we can. We’ve been doing that for many months.

“We haven’t been sitting on our hands.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password?

[[title]]