Apology as bin complaints in Doncaster double under new collections deal

Bin men in action in Doncaster
Bin men in action in Doncaster

Complaints over Doncaster's bin collections have nearly doubled after a new system was brought in this year.

Doncaster Council has seen the number of complaints made rise from 63 for the period from March 1 and April 30 2017, to 181 between March 1 and April 30, 2018.

It comes as the Free Press received a number of complaints from residents over collections for issues ranging from late collections to bins being left uncollected because of mix-ups over what was put inside.

The number of complaints have now let to an apology from both Doncaster Council and the bins contractor, Suez.

Nick Browning, Municipal Services General Manager at SUEZ said: “We have experienced some operational issues while introducing major changes to the recycling and waste collection service over the past two months. We know that this has inconvenienced a number of residents, for which we sincerely apologise, and this has likely contributed to the rise in corporate complaints compared with the same period last year, when we were not introducing changes to the service.

“We would like to apologise to those residents affected and reassure them that we have made operational changes to return the service to ‘business as usual’ as quickly as possible.”

Lee Garrett, head of service, waste and highway infrastructure for Doncaster Council, said: “We apologise to those residents who have been affected and experienced disruption with their waste and recycling service.

"We have been working very hard with our contractor Suez to sort out the operational issues they have been experiencing. It is due to these issues that we have seen an increase in corporate complaints. We have been assured by Suez that they have put a plan in place to address their operational issues and we are closely monitoring their performance to ensure this is done.”

Several readers had raised concerns with the new system with the Free Press

John Whiteside, of Sprotbrough, said: "If you want to complain, you can't because there is no one to complain to. Since the new system came in, all my collections were late. Instead of doing them every two weeks, it was working out at every 17 days. They'd told us it was because of bin lorries breaking down.

"I live on Melton Road. We were putting out bins out on Fridays, put them out early, and no one came. We didn't really have any problems before March. They were collected without any problems."

Another reader, who did not want to be named, said his street in Stainforth had seen several missed collections, although it has improved since the first few weeks.

Another reader, from Carcroft, who asked not to be named, said he phoned the council to ask them why the new blue bin was not being collected from their home since the scheme started in March. He said he had three ready meal plastic recyclable containers that were thoroughly washed and placed in the bin, as well as some small clear plastic containers that previously had fruit in them and a couple of plastic milk bottles. They rejected the entire contents blaming it on 'contamination'.

He said: "I am registered disabled and on an assisted pull out scheme for my collections.

Prior to these blue bins, anything he felt was not for recycling, they left said items in the box, but removed everything else.

"I was forced to empty the entire contents of my completely full bin, just to retrieve these items, just so that I can receive a collection when next due," he said.

"I am now inclined not to use the blue bin for anything and just stuff it all into the black bin."