Christmas tree collections on hold due to staff shortages

Christmas tree collections on hold due to staff shortages

It is with much reluctance that we must announce today (Saturday 16 January) that the collection of real Christmas trees cannot start as scheduled next week.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

The level of sickness and isolation at the company that provides our bin collection service, Serco, has increased to such an extent that the crews that would have been carrying out these collections now need to be moved to household bin collections.

Black bin collections will always be our priority, followed by recycling collections. We also have to ensure other essential services, such as assisted collections and clinical waste collections, can continue.

Therefore, while we understand this decision will annoy some people, Christmas trees are near the bottom of the priority list when it comes to keeping waste collections on the road in an emergency situation.

Other options for trees include booking a slot at the tip if you are able to, or arranging collection by a private waste firm. If you choose the latter, make sure you use a licensed waste disposal company – check this on the Environment Agency website.

The tree collection service will be reviewed in a week's time. A decision on whether to go ahead with it will depend on whether there are enough staff to carry it out while also being able to run essential collections.

We've said it before but it needs repeating – this is the most challenging situation with bin collections for many years. Everyone involved in the service at both the council and Serco is doing their best to collect as many bins as possible as close to the scheduled day as they can.

Thank you again for your continued patience and understanding.

Published: 15 January 2021

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