Lorry driver shortage causes bin collection delays

A national lorry driver shortage could disrupt waste collections, Somerset[1] Waste Partnership (SWP) has warned. Recent delays to collections have continued[2] into this week and the public is asked to be patient while SWP and contractor SUEZ aim to get things back on track. Rubbish and garden waste routes are being prioritised and SUEZ has drafted in extra drivers from elsewhere to help improve collections in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Met Office ‘risk to life’ alert remains amid Spanish plume thunderstorm threat[3] Qualified HGV drivers, including anyone recently retired, are urged to consider driver/loader vacancies in Bridgwater, Evercreech, Taunton, Williton and Yeovil.[4] The Road Haulage Association last week said the HGV driver shortage was of “catastrophic proportions”.

The national driver shortfall is estimated at 70,000. SWP Managing Director Mickey Green said: “This is a major national issue that hits Somerset especially hard and anyone affected will be frustrated. “I apologise for this and ask that you please bear with as we work with SUEZ to tackle the underlying issues and to keep residents informed.”

Covid-19 delays to training and testing, and EU drivers leaving the UK have worsened long-term driver shortages. As home for many distribution centres, driver recruitment is especially difficult in Somerset. This has been compounded by continued heavy loads and, in recent weeks, increased congestion in some parts of the county.

SUEZ is working hard to retain, recruit and train drivers, including substantial advertising, a “refer a friend” scheme and approaching ex-Forces networks.

Driver/loader and loader vacancy details can be found here[5]

Residents are asked to report any missed collection after 7pm on the due day using My Waste Services at somersetwaste.gov.uk (tip: postcode with gap AB1 2CD).

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References

  1. ^ Somerset (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ delays to collections have continued (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  3. ^ Met Office ‘risk to life’ alert remains amid Spanish plume thunderstorm threat (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  4. ^ Taunton, Williton and Yeovil. (www.somersetlive.co.uk)
  5. ^ loader vacancy details can be found here (careers.suez.co.uk)