‘UNACCEPTABLE’: The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) blasts its waste and recycling collection provider over missed bin pickups.

Last week, RBWM released a statement saying they were ‘bitterly disappointed’ in service provider Serco for missing some residents who have not had their bins collected for weeks.

The council has since apologised for those affected and have demanded Serco for ‘immediate action’ to improve the service.

An angry resident tweeted: “Once again, no bins collected at Waters Reach, Maidenhead – although the black bin was just emptied (two days late) – blue bin not emptied for two weeks. Same story, different day over the last four months. Sort it out, both of you.”

Serco said they have seen ‘significant operational challenges’ during the pandemic – but have ‘fully recognise the problems’ with the new service and are now working on an improvement plan and have added additional work crew.

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Councillor David Coppinger (Conservative: Bray), lead member for waste and planning, said the council is ‘incredibly disappointed’ in the service and finds the delays ‘unacceptable’ – but work has commenced with Serco to make sure the issues are resolved.

He said: “We’re committed to providing an effective weekly collection service to our residents and will work with Serco in their review the current routes and make adjustments so that these issues do not continue in the future but we do need them to make the changes to their business in order for this to be resolved.

“I know that the crews on the ground are working as hard as they can and with many of them living in the borough, they want to make sure they provided a good service. I am urging their management team to look into the arrangements to make sure they provide the crews what they need to collect our residents’ bins.”

On August 17, RBWM announced it had reverted back to weekly bin collections with some revised routes, following a temporary fortnightly service due to staff shortages at Serco during the coronavirus pandemic.

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When this was announced, councillor Donna Stimson (Conservative: St. Mary’s), lead member for environmental services, told the Observer the council would ‘penalise’ and ‘hold them to account’ if Serco continued to miss bin collections.

Katy Bassett, Serco’s Regional Director for Environmental Services, said: “We have seen significant operational challenges during the Covid crisis, including a 41 per cent increase in household waste and recycling at its peak.

“We fully recognise the problems with this new service and are committed to making improvements; we had additional crews working in the Borough over the weekend and are urgently working on a further improvement plan.”