Published: 10:41, 06 August 2021
| Updated: 10:44, 06 August 2021
Garden waste collections have been suspended by yet another local council as the shortage of lorry drivers continues to bite.
Households in the Dover district who have paid for collections will not receive the service for the foreseeable future as contractor Veolia prioritises household waste and recycling.
The council is the latest in a long line of Kent authorities to abandon garden waste collection in a bid to manage "major staffing issues", caused by the so-called 'pingdemic' and a broader shortage of qualified HGV drivers.
In an email to residents announcing the move, Dover District Council said: "We've unfortunately suspended the garden waste service at the request of our contractor Veolia in order to allow them to prioritise household waste and recycling collections.
"We know this is disappointing with many people working in the garden at this time of year. We are of course working with Veolia with the aim of reinstating garden waste collections as soon as possible.
"We appreciate that this is a service which you pay for additionally and will be looking at options such as extending subscriptions or offering a discount off next year's subscription to take account of this."
People are being told to put their waste and recycling bins out as usual by 7am on the set collection day.
"We know this is disappointing with many people working in the garden at this time of year..."
The council is also asking people not to contact it about missed collections.
"We are aware of areas where collections have been missed," the council said, "and these will be collected as soon as possible.
"Please see our website for the latest service information."
Garden waste collection is, in many places, a service which taxpayers must fork out for in addition to their regular council tax bills.
Analysis by KentOnline has shown that, of all Kent councils, it is people in Dartford who have to pay the most to sign up to the service at £90 for the first year, while those living in Thanet have the highest annual charges to contend with.
However, in Medway, which is a unitary authority, there are no additional charges for the service.
On top of a £35 set up fee, Thanet District Council charges £53 per year (a total of £88) while Dartford Council charges £46 for a brown bin and £44 for the annual service, adding up to £90.