Local News from North & South Tyneside

Grey Household Waste Collections Only

South Tyneside Council is moving to the next stage of its contingency planning as the ongoing actions of waste collection crews continue to impact bin collections across the Borough.

Residents are reminded that members of the GMB and Unite unions are involved in a fourth wave of industrial action this week (23-26 January) and there are no bin collections.

However, from next week when crews return to work, residents are being advised to present their grey household bin ONLY every day from Tuesday to Friday (30 January to 2 February).

On non-strike weeks, waste crew operatives are continuing to take action that goes beyond short of strike (“working to rule” and “go slows”). Crews are bringing work back daily, and last week an entire day was missed.

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “We understand how frustrating and challenging the situation is for all our residents and we are working hard to mitigate the impact of the strikes as much as we can.

“We are well aware of the concerns relating to the build-up of general waste due to grey household bins being repeatedly missed by strike action. General waste does present a greater public health risk.

“For this reason, we are asking all residents to present their grey household waste bin every day from Tuesday to Friday until it is collected.

“We are also concerned that residents whose scheduled bin collection day is normally a Friday are being affected by the ongoing actions of waste collection crews not completing all their rounds within the week. We will be looking to prioritise those grey bins that were missed last Friday.

“By making these changes to our collection patterns, we can send the crews to where they are required. Please bear with us. We will get to residents when we can.”

To help mitigate the impact of the strikes, the Council has already temporarily extended the opening hours (now 8am to 7pm) and increased the number of booking slots (by more than 2,000 per week) at the Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate, South Shields.

The Council continues to work through other contingency arrangements,including how we can support those who have additional needs.

We will come back to residents with further details in due course.

The Customer Contact Centre is experiencing a high volume of calls relating to the industrial action and bin collection arrangements.

To support staff to deal with other enquiries, residents with waste related queries are encouraged to visit the Council’s website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk in the first instance, where they will find further information including a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

As work continues to try to resolve matters and mitigate against the impact of strike action on the people of South Tyneside, the Council is calling for people to remain respectful and friendly when engaging with the Council – whether that be in-person, by phone, on social media and over emails. Aggressive, abusive and threatening behaviour towards staff and elected members is unacceptable.

The Council spokesperson said: “Our people are our strongest asset and our waste service team are valued members of the workforce, supporting 72,000 households and emptying 6.5millions bins every year.

“We know this is extremely challenging and frustrating for all; for crews, the Council and the communities we serve.

“It is important for residents to recognise that our staff and councillors are there to help and advise, and they should feel safe while performing their work duties. We appeal for patience and understanding during this difficult period.”