More than 50,000 bins left uncollected by refuse workers in four years, according to new figures
PUBLISHED: 19:07 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:07 03 September 2019
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More than 50,000 rubbish bins have not been collected by refuse collectors in Suffolk since 2015, according to new data.
The figures, which came from freedom of information requests, show that in total the councils missed 53,152 bins up until June this year.
The highest amount of missed bins came in 2018 when councils missed 12,732 bins, almost half of these bins were in East Suffolk.
In the first six months of this year 5,396 bins have been reported as having been missed across the county.
The request for data was made before changes occurred to bin collections in Mid Suffolk where with around 600 homes were affected by missed collections.
Why are bins missed?
Among the reasons councils gave for bins being missed were vehicle breakdowns as well as staff illness, difficult weather conditions, roadworks and inconsiderate parking. Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils also attributed some missed rounds to the construction of new houses over the years, saying that: "trucks become full and have to return to the depot before continuing their round."
What should you do if your bins are missed?
All of the councils recommended reporting your bin as not having been collected online, through their respective websites.
What have the councils said?
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An spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: "Every year we collect more than four million bins and while we hate missing any, we are proud that we pick up more than 99.9% of residents' wheelie bins on the scheduled day. There aren't many service providers who can claim a 99.9% service success.
"In addition, we are engaging more with residents on social media and letting them know about any missed bins.
"This is welcome and a case of us being open - so while it is a perception that we are missing lots of bins, we aren't."
An spokesman for East Suffolk Council said: "We collect over 7.5 million bins in East Suffolk annually. Whilst over 99% of bin collections are without issues, we ensure that any missed bin collection is resolved as quickly as possible."
A spokesman for Babergh and Mid Suffolk said: "Every year our crews collect over five million bins and work really hard to make sure bin collections aren't missed.
"That's why the majority of our residents were given a new bin collection in July as part of our plans to future-proof waste and recycling services in the districts. Over the last 10 years, the number of homes Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils collect waste from has increased significantly.
"By re-routing our old collection rounds and introducing new ones, we can provide the most efficient service - reducing our impact on the environment whilst also being able to accommodate future growth.
"We're now a few weeks into the new system and we're grateful to residents for their patience as crews have been getting used to the new routes."
Peter Stevens, West Suffolk Council Cabinet member for Operations said:
"Our crews empty almost 5 million bins a year so these resident-reported missed bins represent a tiny proportion. Reasons for a missed bin vary. Our crews make a note any they have been unable to collect so we know why and can follow up.
"Anyone living in West Suffolk who is unsure of which day or which bin to put out can check with a handy online postcode search."