CONCERNED residents were left with wheely bins of uncollected rubbish outside their homes after disruptions to the fortnightly waste collection service in Redditch.
The Borough Council put the disruption down to an overspend on agency workers, unexpected sickness and staff holidays leading to some areas of the town being missed by the collection teams.
In a statement the authority put the problem down to “increased financial pressure on the council”.
Areas affected include Headless Cross, Woodrow, Crabbs Cross, Winyates, Webheath and Matchborough.
A major sweep of missed rounds was made on Wednesday morning, however some residents were not so lucky.
Jane Taylor, from Church Road in Webheath, said: “My bin is almost overflowing at this point.
“I thought it was due to workers being a day behind because of the Bank Holiday but now I realise it’s more than that.”
The problem has affected both Redditch borough and Bromsgrove district which have a number of shared services, including waste collection.
The two authorities have been hit by swingeing cuts to their Government grants while at the same having to deal with more homes being built and longer refuse collection runs as a result.
Bin collectors also work on a ‘job and finish basis’ meaning they can go home as soon as their round is done.
This has led to an over-reliance on agency staff, exacerbated by holidays and staff sickness.
Borough Councillor Brandon Clayton (Con, Astwood Bank and Feckenham) whose portfolio covers Environment, said: “We don’t want to have to rely on agency workers.
“In future we are looking at making sure we have enough of our own force to cover staff who are ill or on holiday, instead of using an agency.
“The problem is the agency workers don’t know the area as well as our own staff.”
Coun Bill Hartnett (Lab, Church Hill) said: “The rounds are longer and my understanding is the overspend is on the agency budget. However it should sort itself out and things should quickly return to normal.”
Head of Environmental Services Guy Revans said: “We’re prioritising any bins we miss and will always aim to pick them up the next working day.
“The bottom line is we are over budget for this year despite the fact our crews can often finish their day’s work early.
“Obviously this isn’t right so we’re changing the collection rounds to better fit our working hours and ensure we’re using all our own capacity first,” he added.