Why we are extending bin collection times

Published on Wednesday 13 February 2019

From Monday 8 April 2019 you may notice a change to the time that we collect your bins.

From that date, our waste and recycling collection crews will be working between 6am and 10pm.

By extending our bin collection times we will be able to operate two shifts every day (Monday to Friday) and reduce the number of vehicles we need. It is a change that will allow us to remove approximately £2 million worth of vehicles from our fleet and will mean that the service can save £160,000 per year.

We are facing extreme and unprecedented financial challenges. Millions of pounds of permanent savings must be found in the years ahead. By making savings like this we can deliver our council priorities whilst protecting vital frontline services. This is a significant service change. But importantly, introducing these measures will mean there will be no associated loss of jobs or a reduction in the bin collection service you receive.

Fife and South Ayrshire councils have operated identical shift systems to this for several years. Their experience is that the system works and delivers a significant financial saving.

Safety implications of the change have been carefully considered and measures put in place accordingly. Bins will only be collected from areas in and around around our towns and larger villages in the evenings and not from more rural areas. Backshifts (evening work) will be reduced during the winter and, at the same time, daytime collections increased. This can be done by making use of garden waste vehicles in the seasonal period when garden waste collections are suspended.

We recognised increased use of vehicles will mean additional wear and tear as such, we will increase the frequency of vehicle replacement and retain more spare vehicles. This has been accounted for when estimating the savings to be achieved.

We have been consulting with our dedicated staff and trade unions over the last 18 months. Staff working the new shift pattern will qualify for an additional payment for working unsocial hours. In recognition that the new shift patterns would mean significant change for staff, the introduction of the new way of working was delayed by 12 months to give more time for staff to prepare for the change.

Delivering this efficiency measure is a major challenge, but it is essential to ensure we can deliver savings while protecting jobs and vital frontline services. We are very grateful for the understanding and patience of our staff and all householders as we adapt to the new collection times.