Impact of national HGV driver shortage on our services
Residents are being thanked for their patience as the national shortage of HGV drivers is beginning to affect some services in Wychavon.
Difficulties recruiting HGV drivers, and shortages in the labour market generally caused by national and international pressures, is having an impact on Wychavon's contractor FCC Environment.
This is not a situation unique to FCC Environment or to Wychavon as it is affecting councils and companies across the country.
Wychavon is working with FCC Environment to make sure that essential rubbish and recycling collections continue with little disruption.
To do this, changes have had to be made so some other services. This includes temporarily suspending bulky waste collections.
Mechanical road and pavement sweeping is being prioritised for emergencies only, such as dealing with broken glass, blood etc.
The annual deep clean of town centres, which includes street washing and gum removal, has been delayed until the situation improves.
Litter picking is continuing but picking of verges by roads is limited and only when resources are available. Weed spraying is being carried out in town centres only and removal will take place as soon as possible.
Collection of household rubbish and recycling, garden waste, business waste and recycling continue as normal. Litter, dog poo and on-street recycling bins continue to be emptied.
Cllr Emma Stokes, Executive Board Member for Environment and Street Scene on Wychavon District Council, said: "We apologise to all our residents for the fact we aren't currently able to maintain the usual high standards of street cleanliness we are all used to.
"Unfortunately, national factors outside of our control are starting to impact on us and our contractor FCC Environment at a local level.
"We are having to make difficult choices at the moment and our priority is to protect the rubbish and recycling collections we all rely on.
"We are monitoring the situation daily with our contractor and reviewing available resources. We will resume normal service as soon as resources allow.
"We don't know how long that will take though but our expectation is improvements will start to be seen by the end of September.
"We promise to keep people informed and thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this challenging time."
Steve Longdon, FCC Environment Operations Director, added: "All our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain our services, ensure household waste continues to be collected and that the streets are kept clean but, as we return to normality, the sector is facing new challenges.
"LGV 1 and 2 drivers are essential for the waste and recycling sector, and we are committed to doing everything we can to fill our driver vacancies to continue to play our part in protecting public health and the environment, as well as the UK's green economic recovery and this firmly remains our focus. But it does mean we are having to be flexible in the services we are currently delivering in Wychavon, so we thank residents for their patience and support at this time."