Garden waste collections in North Somerset are expected to restart by the end of September.
North Somerset Council suspended its garden waste service earlier this month due to a national shortage of HGV drivers.
Although the shortage of drivers is continuing to impact the recycling and waste service, the authority has reduce the frequency of collections to enable the service to keep running.
From September 27, garden waste collections will take place every four weeks, instead of every fortnight.
Cllr Mike Solomon, executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, said: “This is a pragmatic approach that enables us to offer a garden waste service to all our existing customers. The driver shortage remains a very serious issue for us. We are losing drivers to other businesses and very sadly have lost some long-standing colleagues to ill health. I say this because I’m keen everyone understands that we remain in a precarious situation with our staff resources and the situation may yet change again.”
The council is contacting all garden waste customers to let them know when collections will restart and garden waste collection calendars will also be amended and available on the council’s website.
Cllr Solomon added: “I completely understand why some of our customers are frustrated that we’ve not been able to maintain uninterrupted collections in the same year we’ve introduced a subscription service. Because of the inconvenience caused we will be offering all our existing subscribers a discount on next year’s collections to compensate them for the disruption. Customers don’t need to contact us to qualify for this offer – it will be automatically available at renewal.”
The council will also trial setting up satellite sites across the area so existing customers can take their garden waste to staffed drop-off points if they don’t live within easy reach of one of the three recycling centres. These will be announced as soon as they are up and running.
Cllr Solomon added: “I’m also keen that our residents understand that we are lobbying government to solve the driver crisis. We simply can’t make this problem go away on our own, and it’s not just our services being affected. All areas of business logistics are affected and garden waste collections are just a tiny part of the problem. We desperately need government to undo the damage caused by the Brexit driver exodus.”
The council is working with other councils in the region to lobby ministers and has also asked the two local MPs to support a resolution to the crisis.
New subscriptions for the garden waste collection service have been suspended until the driver shortage issues are resolved.
Recycling and black bin waste collections are not affected by the changes.