A council worker has spoken out about problems experienced by rubbish collection teams implementing the new Aylesbury Vale waste and recycling system.
The collection team member said morale was low, with staff being ‘run into the floor’ by having to do five days’ worth of work in four, and claimed aspects of the new system have made their jobs harder.
He said teams have been ‘given grief’ by people over difficulties such as new bins not being delivered or collections being missed, but they said abuse has eased.
Aylesbury Vale District Council refused to comment on ‘unsubstantiated allegations’, but admitted there remain some ‘teething issues’ with the system, with some bins undelivered and collections missed.
The employee, who asked to be anonymous, said strain had been put on collection teams by having to collect the same amount of rubbish in one less day and the logistics of tip runs.
He said: “You’ve got to go to Calvert to tip your rubbish off, and then to Aylesbury to tip the food off, and then back to where you’re collecting.
“What was a one and a half hour tip run is now almost two and a half hours.
“The work can’t physically be done in time. Computer says yes but crews say no.”
He said some workers would be considering their positions if the job market was not so poor.
The whistleblower added there was ‘no logic’ to the system, with many crew members being sent to new areas they did not know.
He said: “They have taken us out of our comfort zones and wonder why things have got messed up. We get more properties on recycling. We do different places for recycling and bins. It’s a lack of continuity.”
Figures show the council’s waste and recycling department made up 42% of days taken for illness, and the employee said this could increase if things do not improve.
He said: “If they’re going to carry on running them into the floor it’s going to get worse.”
He said many people understood the problems, but in one case a resident reportedly threw their bins into the road when a different set was collected from what they expected, and police were called.
He said: “Most of the public know it’s not our fault but we are the frontline and there’s limits to how much we can take.”
Andy Wilkins, the council’s operations manager, said there are processes in place to enable employees to raise concerns.
Mr Wilkins said: “These issues have not been raised through the grievance process or through the trade unions.”
Houses yet to receive new bins are mainly in rural areas, with the council putting missed collections down to vehicles reaching capacity during the changeover period and crews getting used to new rounds.
Additional resources have been brought in to help with the early stages with the promise of more help if it is needed.