In a concerted effort to improve waste collection services for residents, the Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) waste team is collaborating closely with its new contract supplier, SUEZ.

The recently implemented waste and recycling contract, which commenced on March 25, has introduced significant changes. Since its inception, the collection teams have been diligently acquainting themselves with the new routes and systems to optimize service efficiency.

Jennifer Stevens, Head of Environmental Service and Waste Management at MBC said:

“As is the case with all new services of this scale, it was anticipated that there would be some challenges as the new routes bed in.  The crews are learning their new routes and this can be particularly difficult in rural areas or where collection points may be less obvious. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused and would like to assure people that we are working as hard as we can to correct any issues as quickly as possible.

“The Council would like to thank residents for their continued support and understanding as the new waste and recycling contract with SUEZ is being rolled out and some collections are taking longer than normal.”

The new contract has been running for less than two weeks and the teams are working hard to learn the new routes, use new vehicles which are configured differently as well as using new technology where they record collections on handheld machines.

To help combat these issues the Council and SUEZ are putting in place additional resources to help with the situation including bringing in staff from other areas, reviewing collections and reallocating work as needed and the waste crews will be working again on Saturday (6 April) as they did last weekend.

This is being carried out in order to help catch up on any missed collections from this week and residents are asked to leave their bin out if they are due to have a collection and the crew will get to them as soon as possible.

Jennifer Stevens continued:

“With more than 17,000 bins to collect every day it was expected there would be some disruption and delays to a small number of collections as the changes take place. It may take a few weeks for the crews to learn the new routes and get used to the pod vehicles, so we really do appreciate the understanding of our residents.  However, I have no doubt that, once established, the new contract will deliver a more reliable and improved service to everyone.”

Residents are being reminded that the week and day of their collections may have changed, including those subscribed for garden waste collections. So remember to check the letter the council sent to every household or use:

The state-of-the-art new fleet of vehicles has live tracking and CCTV to alert managers at SUEZ and MBC in real-time if, and when, problems occur. There is also a fleet of smaller vehicles for areas that have access issues.

By Ed

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