A driver shortage led to Gloucester City Council issuing its waste and recycling contractor Amey with two ’breach of contract’ notices after it stopped the kerbside sorting of recyclables.
The situation led to Amey mixing pre-sorted recyclables in refuse trucks and then mechanically sorting the material afterwards. Earlier this year the council introduced a new fleet of kerbside sort recycling trucks alongside an expanded recycling service.
Richard Cook, cabinet member for environment at Gloucester council, said that the kerbside sorting service had now resumed and full driving staff were in place.
He said: “Due to a shortage of staff, which is happening nationally, some recycling in the city was being collected together. This was a short-term solution that helped to speed up services and maximise the amount of waste collected each day. This waste was then mechanically sorted at the cost of Amey, not the taxpayers.”
A spokesperson for Amey said: “At a meeting in June, we discussed a number of measures jointly with Gloucester to improve our recruitment and retention rates for HGV drivers. These discussions were prompted by a national shortage of qualified drivers.
“Among the measures implemented since that meeting is a new pay structure for new and existing drivers – effective 1 September – a national and regional recruitment drive and enhanced training opportunities for co-drivers.”
Amey’s waste and recycling contract with the city runs until 2022 with an option to extend to 2027.
In June, Amey was criticised by Elmbridge Borough Council for a series of missed household collections which left residents frustrated.