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Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council recycling bin collection suspended for two weeks as Urbaser struggles to find drivers

Recycling bin collections in part of Kent will be suspended for two weeks.

Tonbridge and Malling residents will have to keep a closer eye on their green lid bins as the council's contractor, Urbaser, announces the delay because of a shortage in drivers.

Recycling bin collections in Tonbridge and Malling will be suspended for 2 weeks. Picture: Urbaser Ltd.
Recycling bin collections in Tonbridge and Malling will be suspended for 2 weeks. Picture: Urbaser Ltd.

The local authority says people with outstanding recycling collections from last week can expect these to be collected by Saturday but services for the two weeks after that will be suspended.

Black bins, for non-recycling material and food waste will be collected as normal. Full services are expected to resume on Monday, July 12.

It comes days after Urbaser was fined by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for being late in collections.

Urbaser's managing director Javier Peiro said: "We would like to apologise to residents for this disruption to their recycling service and reiterate that we remain committed to recommencing collections as soon as possible.
"A significant upturn in waste and recycling volumes, combined with a national driver shortage exacerbated by the lack of driver training and testing during the pandemic, means that we are struggling to address the current shortfall.

Residents are furious their bins have not been collected

"However, we are taking positive steps to address the issue and this brief suspension of the service will help us to consolidate our resources and resume recycling collections."

Councillor Robin Betts, who is the authority's lead cabinet member for waste and recycling, said: "We recognise the frustration that residents feel when their bins are not collected.

"Unfortunately, in recent weeks the shortage of drivers both nationally and in our borough has become acute and a brief suspension is the best way to get things back on track.

"I’d like to apologise for the inconvenience this is causing and assure everyone that we are working hard behind the scenes with Urbaser to overcome this short-term issue and ensure residents get the service they expect."

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