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Garden waste suspension

10 October: garden waste collections have been suspended from Monday 10 to Friday 14 October (inclusive).

Due to rising COVID-19 infection rates among our staff, amplifying an already challenging shortage of available drivers, we have unfortunately had to suspend all garden waste collections from Monday 10 to Friday 14 October (inclusive).

We are really sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you; suspending services isn’t what we want to be doing. We have to prioritise the collection of black and green bins – our core service – and the only way we can do this right now is by suspending brown bin collections.

We will of course be extending the hire period of affected customers to cover the missed collection.

Unfortunately we are unable to offer sacks or partial refunds. The hire extension will ensure you don’t pay for a collection you haven’t had.

Please refer to this page for updates; as it stands you can present your bin on your next scheduled collection day.

If you're really stuck and have the means, garden waste can also be taken to the recycling centres run by Devon County Council. Please don’t place extra waste out beside your bin; our crews will be unable to take it as the vehicle design does not permit them to empty sacks or containers manually into the back.

Again, we’re really sorry to have to do this. We are doing everything we can to keep our services running and the city’s waste collections moving with as little disruption as possible, but circumstances beyond our control are having a major impact.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.


Your questions answered

Why are garden waste collections being suspended

Our services are being impacted by the staff shortages affecting the whole country. Increasing COVID-19 infection rates are amplifying these challenges.

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 cancel any garden waste collections, but we must prioritise our statutory collection duties.


What compensation would be offered to customers, should services be cancelled?

Garden waste subscription periods will be extended to cover the collections that have been missed.

This will take into account the ‘off-season’ from mid-December to late-January by ensuring customers whose renewal usually falls within the off-season have their hire extended into the new season rather than simply within the off-season, when no collections take place.

We will not extend the collection period into the off-season; we will extend the hire period.


Could 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.


Could 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.


Could 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.


When this content has been updated

Last updated 11 October 2022