Refuse Collections Delayed because of Bank Holidays – An Alternative

May 21, 2006 by  

A resident has made this proposal to the Council.

No doubt because of the public holiday you have suffered a delay to your refuse collection. These delays are bought about by the service doing nothing till after the holiday – they catch up by working on Saturdays after the holiday.

Is it necessary that all the residents of Rochford District suffer these delays after every public holiday? Most holidays occur on a Monday so those households with a Monday collection would expect that there will be some disruption to their refuse collection. Why not collect their refuse on the previous Saturday – Tuesday you return to the normal scheduled collection service.

80% of the Borough would not be affected by the fact that the refuse collection service was not working on Monday. Because those households have not suffered any disruption to their normal refuse collection there is no requirement to pick up additional refuse in bags or boxes placed beside the bin.

With collections programmed in advance of the holiday – even with the longer holidays of Easter and Christmas it is possible to make collections with only a one day difference to that of a normal collection and normal service is restored much quicker.

I presented this proposal along with demonstrating calendars in January yet here we are entering the period of public holidays every three weeks and still suffering unnecessary refuse collection delays.

This is the briefing that I have received from the Director of External Services at RDC.

As you are aware, we agree the calendar of collections with Members around September time. This allows Serviceteam to make the appropriate arrangements and gives us time to arrange notification of all householders. In view of this, we would not take any further action on the resident’s suggestions until the next review in September.

Whilst I can understand the logic of the resident’s suggestions, I do have serious reservations. I think it would be a very difficult political decision to consciously give inferior service to a fifth of residents at every Bank Holiday, albeit for only three days a year.

As soon as it became widely known, I foresee residents on the Monday rounds campaigning to have regular reviews in order to bring about fairness.

This would lead to major disruption.

The present system is simple to operate, but more importantly, easily understood and accepted by residents, and gives rise to very few complaints and is considered fairer to all.

On the current system, on the Monday Bank Holidays, all residents have one collection week of 8 days and then one of 6 days. On the proposal a fifth of residents would have one collection week of 5 days and then one of 9 days.

The rationale of collecting additional refuse at Bank Holidays is to compensate for the long collection week. We would still, therefore, need to take extra refuse from the Monday rounds.

There would also be additional complications in respect of communications. At present it is simple to give out a simple message to
residents through our leaflets, Rochford District Matters and the website. This would not be the case if we were only communicating with one section of the community.

With regard to the Easter and Christmas holidays, under normal circumstances, the longest period between collections is 9 days, then reducing back down to 7. Under Mr. Tinson’s proposals there would be a collection period of 10 days. When this happened in the past, there were a lot of complaints by residents over the long collection period.

Notwithstanding my reservations, officers will take the suggestions into consideration when we next review the calendars. I would stress that this does not necessarily mean we would accept them.

As The Director of External Services advises, this will be a political decision it will have to be considered by the newly appointed Chair of Waste Management, Councillor Peter Savill and his Committee. I have suggested that the resident contacts Councillor Savill if you wish to discuss this further with him.

Alternatively I could take this forward in the political arena through Rochford District Residents.  I have asked the resident for his agreement before going further.

John Mason



One Response to “Refuse Collections Delayed because of Bank Holidays – An Alternative”
  1. admin says:

    My resident has come back with some useful arguments for his proposal to improve the service for the majority of us. I like the idea and I have asked him if I can put this forward on on behalf of Rochford District Residents.

    He says:

    “Is it fair that 80% ofresidents suffer an inferior service
    To my way of thinking the measure of an efficient service is the
    number of days of outage ie, days before return to
    normal collection service for the whole of the District.

    If someone proposes a scheme that reduces the number
    of days of delayed collections, with no additional
    cost, it should be investigated. A count of such days
    comparing the existing system and my proposal would
    show that a much improved service could be availed.

    Additionally – the longest period between collection is not limited to nine days – it is up to eleven days:-

    23 and 24/12/03 next collection 2 and 3/01/04 – 10 days
    22 to 24/12/04 ” ” 3 to 5/1/05 – 12 days
    23/12/05 ” ” 3/1/06 – 11 days
    22/12/06 ” ” will be 2/1/07 – 11 days

    My proposal has a collection one only of ten days four
    of eight not nine and returns to normal collection one
    week earlier than the existing programme. “

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