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Bromsgrove District Council have taken the difficult decision to suspend garden waste services temporarily, to strengthen the delivery of their core waste service.

The garden waste service will be postponed for a period of 4 weeks, the equivalent of two collections, from Tuesday 12 October, so that crews can continue to maintain domestic waste and dry recycling services.

Although the vaccination programme has provided much needed resilience for the crews, the service is still facing disruption due to the need for staff to isolate where required, and usual absences due to the heavy physical nature of the work.

As a result, crews who would normally deliver the garden waste services will be utilised to help maintain staffing levels for grey and green collections to ensure continuity in these priority services.

In addition to the garden waste suspension, the Environmental Services Department will be recruiting additional staff and arranging for additional agency staff to ensure the reinstatement of the garden waste service, reducing the risk of future disruption, and ensuring adequate staffing to maintain the service throughout the winter.

Residents do not need to worry about what to do with their garden waste as the service will be extended through December so that all 20 of the paid-for collections will be honoured. The council will be writing to all garden waste customers shortly to advise of the details of the postponement.

Leader of Bromsgrove Council, Cllr Karen May, said: “It is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we are not alone in having to make this call. The resilience of waste collection services up and down the country are challenged every day and many of our colleagues in other authorities have also had to make these difficult decisions.

“Since the first lockdown, our staff have continued to work hard and ensure that our vital waste collection services have run with little or no disruption and for that we are truly grateful. We are also thankful for the support and understanding residents have given the teams throughout this difficult period.

“We are genuinely sorry to have to ask for your patience again, but this minor postponement will benefit all of our residents in the longer term, as well as ensuring the wellbeing of our staff.”

Head of Environmental Services, Guy Revans, said: “We have explored all possible options to avoid this situation and the inconvenience it causes our customers. Unfortunately, we have reached a stage where the service is at high risk of failure, and we need to make significant changes to ensure the resilience of our core services whilst recognising the challenges our front-line teams face in delivering essential services.”

The council will continue to keep the website and social media pages updated regarding the status of the services, and although no further disruption is expected after this date, residents are advised to check one of these channels prior to putting bins out on the first scheduled collection after this suspension period.