Published: 13:04, 24 June 2021
| Updated: 14:22, 24 June 2021
A waste company which is four days behind on bin collections has been fined by a council for the disruption which has been blamed on 'the national shortage of HGV drivers'.
Urbaser, which is contracted by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) to carry out bin collections, took over in March 2019 and has faced troubles ever since.
It was fined last year after skipping up to 1,000 collections a day.
Last week it was announced the two councils had issued further fines to Urbaser and will continue to challenge bosses if services do not start to improve.
Now it has been revealed another fine has been issued because of the latest disruption to recycling collections.
In a statement online, TMBC said: "Following on from last week’s delays to kerbside recycling collections (green-lidded bins and green boxes), the contractor is currently running around four working days behind on recycling collections.
"The reason given by our contractor is the national shortage of HGV drivers, which is affecting their ability to retain and recruit drivers, meaning they are unable to deploy sufficient vehicles to complete the rounds.
"We are issuing financial penalties to our contractor for this disrupted performance.
"Refuse, food waste and garden waste collections have been prioritised – these collections are generally unaffected and should be collected on your normal scheduled day."
Residents have complained about missed collections, bin lorries leaving trails of litter behind them and even being sworn at by refuse collectors.
The concerns became so frequent, MPs Tom Tugendhat and Tracey Crouch stepped in and wrote a letter to TMBC insisting more needs to be done to tackle the continued problem of missed rounds and litter-coated verges.
Urbaser has been approached for comment.