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Garden waste collection service statement

Date: 

Tuesday, 21 September, 2021

A garden waste collection has been arranged from Monday 27 September for subscribers in Woking. Full details below.

Statement from the Portfolio Holder for Waste and Recycling, Cllr Kevin Davis

An apology

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the recent service disruption. I understand how frustrating this is for you. The reason for the ongoing disruption is the national shortage of HGV drivers which you will have seen widely reported in the news.

Throughout the summer, we have taken various measures with Joint Waste Solutions and our contractor, Amey, to ensure that garden waste collections continued. These included overtime made available, pay and retention bonuses announced and employment agencies tasked with seeking additional drivers.

The fact is that HGV drivers are in great demand and there are not enough to go around.  

During this time, we have prioritised core waste services to ensure that general waste and recycling collections continued and were not impacted by the shortage.

Scheduled collection

Despite these difficulties, I am pleased to advise that a garden waste collection is possible on your next scheduled collection date, as part of a reduced winter service, with the aim of a further collection as a minimum in early 2022.

For subscribers, there will be a collection during:

  • week commencing Monday 27 September, if your garden bin is normally emptied on the same day as your refuse bin.
  • week commencing Monday 4 October, if your garden bin is normally emptied on the same day as your recycling bin.

Our collection crew will come on your usual collection day that week, so please put your bin out by 6am.

What we are doing to resolve the situation

Alongside the collection mentioned above, we are continuing to work on ways to resume the service. These include:

  • recruitment and retention bonuses for drivers
  • HGV driver training of other crew members
  • referral fees paid to current crews bringing in other drivers
  • approached charity work programmes for drivers
  • apprenticeships
  • lobbied government to help resolve this desperate situation.

What can I do with my garden waste?

We are working with Surrey County Council to make local Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) as accessible as possible for residents who are able to take their garden waste to them.

Residents should place their garden waste in large plastic sacks and take it to Martyrs Lane CRC.

Surrey County Council is monitoring queues at sites and will consider longer opening hours if there is congestion. You can also take garden waste to CRCs in a van or trailer, but you will need to purchase a permit from Surrey County Council

Alternatively, residents can purchase discounted home composter bins from Surrey Environmental Partnership website

What about my subscription?

When the service was first affected in July and August, we said we would extend your subscription to reflect any missed collections. In recognition of the ongoing disruption, I can confirm that all current garden waste subscriptions will be extended by six months.

If you wish to cancel your subscription, we will collect your bin, and refund pro-rata the remaining subscription period, plus the value of the missed collections.

Please note: we are not currently accepting new customers to the service. This means that if you cancel your subscription, you will be unable to re-join the garden waste collection service until we are satisfied it can robustly support the current subscribers.

Stay informed

Please continue to check the Joint Waste Solutions website for further news and updates on services.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Kevin Davis
Portfolio Holder for Waste and Recycling
Woking Borough Council

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