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Waveney: Changes announced to refuse collections as staff move to four-day week

10:47 25 April 2014

Refuse collectors in Waveney are changing to a four-day week, forcing changes to rounds in the district.

Refuse collectors in Waveney are changing to a four-day week, forcing changes to rounds in the district.

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New refuse collection arrangements in the Waveney area come into force next month and will save taxpayers around £200,000 a year.

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The scheme will see the number of collection vehicles reduced across the district, but council officials say while the majority of residents will now receive collections on a different day of the week, the frequency of collections for each household will remain the same.

The changes will come into force during the week beginning May 12 and all households in Waveney will be notified beforehand of the revised time and day for their collections via a bin hanger.

Some households will be advised that their collection days are not changing.

If there is a change to the collection rotation of different colour bins, the affected households will also receive a separate notification letter advising them of the changes.

Following a full and successful consultation with all staff involved, the Waveney Norse refuse crews will now work four day weeks, with longer hours each day, on different days between Monday and Friday. The new arrangements have also been formally agreed with and endorsed by Unison.

Stephen Ardley, deputy leader of Waveney District Council, said: “As our operational partner, Waveney Norse provides a number of important frontline services and a key priority for the partnership is to ensure that it can continue to deliver these services to the same standard but as efficiently as possible.

“This new scheme achieves that ambition and I am absolutely delighted that we have an arrangement in place that maintains standards while easing pressure on the public purse.”

Mark Emms, managing director of Waveney Norse said: “For this financial year we have agreed budget savings of £531,000 across a range of services and around £200,000 of these savings will come from the refuse budget.

“However I am very pleased that this has been achieved without adversely affecting the number of collections we provide for each and every household.

“Working longer days and sharing the ‘non working’ days for all crews across the week will mean that we can operate with around 20% fewer refuse freighters (dustcarts) than at present.

“We feel that it is very important to stress that the savings will be made through reducing vehicles and their associated running costs, rather than reducing staff numbers, hours or employees’ terms and conditions.

“This pattern of working is now common practice in many District Councils across the country and has been proven to be workable over many years.”

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