Residents' patience and understanding at the start of the pandemic when bin collections were disrupted due to staff absences caused by Covid isolations was much appreciated.
The staffing situation at our contractor Serco - caused in part by a national shortage of drivers and also by new Covid isolations - is now just as acute as it was in the early months of the pandemic.
It is therefore likely we will need to make some significant operational changes in the short term, which we will announce soon on all our communications channels. We invite anyone wishing to receive free email updates about waste issues to sign up at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/enewsreg
The driver shortage is a UK-wide problem affecting different contractors, agencies and many local councils, including neighbouring authorities across Derbyshire. Councils that run their own in-house waste service are also affected.
We continue to work hard with Serco to address the issues, but we need to be frank with residents in conceding there is no quick fix.
While Serco's crews are working extended hours and on Saturdays, unfortunately staff shortages mean continued disruption is likely in the short term.
It is well-documented that there is a desperate shortage of drivers nationally - estimated at more than 70,000 - a situation that has been described by the Road Haulage Association to be of "catastrophic proportions".
Covid-19 has delayed driver training and testing and it is a fact that some EU drivers have left the UK as a direct consequence of Brexit. Further exacerbating the situation is the increased demand for available drivers caused by the recent reopening of non-essential retail.
We sincerely apologise for issues that are currently out of our control. For the time being please leave out any missed containers.
Rather than calling us by phone to report a missed collection, please use the quick online report form at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/missedcollection- these reports go direct to Serco for action.
Finally, if you are an HGV driver looking to make a difference and for local work with regular hours, we'd love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org