Why thousands across Somerset are facing waste collection woes

Somerset Waste Partnership and its collection contractor SUEZ have said there is “no quick fix” for the ongoing waste collection problems across the county. Areas of Taunton, Bridgwater and Evercreech have been most affected by the escalating nationwide shortage of truck drivers. Some people have been left with their weekly collections completely missed or picked up days later than originally scheduled as a result of the truck driver shortage.

: Major route in Somerset town to close for a year of roadworks Somerset Waste Partnership is responsible for more than 350,000 collections every week, the majority of which have gone smoothly throughout the pandemic. However, in recent weeks as a result of staffing shortages, significant delays have been caused on recycling and garden waste collections.

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Crews have said they will try and return to any missed collections within two days if they can. Somerset Waste Partnership managing director Mickey Green said: “We know we’re not where we need to be but there’s no quick fix.

“We apologise and are working hard to get back on track, please bear with us. It’s frustrating, but let’s not forget that these crews are key workers who have worked non-stop through a pandemic that has increased loads by about 20 per cent. “A lot of people have worked long hours to make sure waste is collected.

It’s very difficult at the moment and we appreciate your patience.” Qualified HGV drivers, including anyone recently retired, are being urged to consider driver and crew vacancies in Bridgwater, Taunton and Evercreech. Do you have a story or tip to tell in Taunton, Wellington or West Somerset?

Email me at ross.millen@reachplc.com to get in contact.