A message from the North Devon Council Head of Environmental Enhancement, Mark Kentell

“After a heavy summer of recycling, we have come to the difficult decision to suspend garden waste collections for two weeks from Monday 5 September. This will allow us to reassign those drivers and loaders to recycling rounds and catch up on the current recycling backlog. We are really sorry for the short notice and I would like to reassure you we will endeavour to collect additional/side garden waste when the rounds re-commence on Monday 19 September.

“The main reason for us suspending the garden waste service until 19 September, is the fact that we are still finding it incredibly difficult to recruit HGV drivers. This is a national issue and many other councils around the country have had to take similar action (some cancelling garden waste collections for the whole summer). Our recycling collections have been particularly challenging over the current holiday season as we have also seen a massive increase in the amount of recycling being presented for us to collect. Over the past few weeks we have been trying to manage the situation with our existing drivers, with our managers and supervisors stepping in to assist with driving and loading. Unfortunately, without a full quota of drivers, the problems are still persisting and it’s not possible for us to collect the volume of recycling being presented. Suspending the garden waste collection temporarily is a last resort, but gives us the additional resource we desperately need.

“We will collect side waste on the next scheduled collection date, if presented in untied carrier or bin bags alongside your green bin. If you’re unable to hold your green waste until your next double collection, then you can take this to your local recycling centre for free. You can find your closest centre by visiting our website. Again, I’m really sorry about this, but we hope to get all the collections back on track very soon.

“Thank you for your understanding.”

Mark Kentell

Head of Environmental Enhancement

North Devon Council