27 July: Due to an extreme shortage of drivers and loaders, all garden waste collections have been cancelled with immediate effect. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Subscribers to the garden waste service will have their subscription period extended to cover the collections that have been missed.
If the extension moves your subscription renewal into the 6 weeks that the service does not run (16 December 2022 - 23 January 2023) then this will be taken into account and the 6 weeks included in the extension when you renew.
What do I do next?
If you have put your bin our for collection, please take it in.
Over the next few days a letter or email will be sent to subscribers explaining the situation.
It is hoped that collections will resume again from 5 September.
Please note that only garden waste contained within your bin will be taken when collections resume.
Don't forget that garden waste can also be taken to the Recycling Centres run by Devon County Council.
Your questions answered
Why were garden waste collections cancelled?
Our services are being impacted by the staff shortages affecting the whole country.
Currently we aren’t able to cover leave or sickness within the waste collection teams. There is no availability of driver cover through recruitment or agencies.
We're prioritising black and green bins. This is our statutory service and we are obligated to collect these bins. Thankfully we have managed to keep collections of these bins going without disruption throughout the pandemic and the current national staffing crisis.
We really don’t want to be cancelling garden waste collections, but we are left with no choice.
What compensation will be offered to customers?
Garden waste subscription periods will be extended to cover the collections that have been missed – taking into account the ‘off-season’ from mid-December to late-January by extending hires due for renewal within this period until after the first scheduled collection of the new season.
In other words, customers whose renewal falls within the off-season will have their hire extended into the new season rather than simply within the off-season, when no collections take place – so they won’t miss out on a collection
We will not be extending the collection period into the off-season; we will be extending the hire period.
Can I have some garden sacks as compensation?
No, unfortunately. The cost of issuing bags as compensation is not viable and logistically it is not possible.
We cannot use the Civic Centre as a collection point for bags. This would require proof of address, which would then need to be cross-checked against cancelled properties and this would severely impact on already very limited staff time, potentially creating delays for customers using other vital services.
Delivering sacks would result in significant costs and further delays to the bin delivery service, which are already under severe pressure.
Bags come in packs of 5, which represents considerably greater capacity than a wheeled bin. Separating the packs is not possible due to the time this would take and the impacts that would have upon service provision.
Can I have a partial refund?
Our systems do not allow for partial refunds. Issuing these on an individual basis would require significant staff time, which cannot be afforded without impacting service delivery in other areas.
Can I put out extra garden waste in bin bags or containers on my next collection day?
No. The bags would contaminate the garden waste. Our crews cannot empty bags or containers into the truck as the trucks are not designed to allow this for health and safety purposes.
My bin is full. What can I do?
If you're really stuck and have the means, garden waste can also be taken to the recycling centres run by Devon County Council.