Staff are not to blame for bins ‘chaos’

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The SNP Group in North Lanarkshire says councillors cannot shirk responsibility for forcing through changes to bin collections.

In June Labour received the backing of the Conservatives to introduce new cycles on October 2 – this gave the cleansing staff less than three months to make the arrangements.

We have been inundated with complaints about the service including bins not being emptied, people being unable to get through to Northline and having yet to receive new bins and compostable liners.

The SNP claim Labour councillors have to take the blame for not giving cleaning staff enough time.

Group leader Councillor David Stocks said: “Knowing how unpopular these changes would be Labour pushed back the decision until after the election then misled the electorate by denying they would happen. This meant there were only three months to implement them, not nearly enough time for the size of the operation.

“There are people working day and night to try to make it work, we continue to back 100 per cent the officers and staff who are doing everything they can to minimise the chaos, and the administration must apologise unreservedly for putting them in this position.”

The Convener of Infrastructure Michael McPake ignored questions about whether officials were given enough time and if there would be an investigation on what has gone wrong.

He did apologise to householders who have been inconvenienced and claimed there was no way for the system to be rolled out gradually like when fortnightly collections were introduced.

Councillor McPake said: “This is a massive undertaking for the council, affecting around 150,000 households, and involving new contracts and contractors, bin collection routes, and changes to the materials recycled in each bin.

“The new service was coordinated with the start of new contracts to process waste materials, and to ensure economy of scale in these contracts, it would not be possible to introduce the new service in only parts of the council area.

“A number of challenges have arisen which has led to delays in the delivery of bio bags and new bins. We recognise this is frustrating and have apologised for the inconvenience, however, we have taken action to manage these issues as quickly as possible and have kept residents informed throughout.”