Luton roadside glass collection set to restart

But national HGV driver shortage still having an impact in Central Bedfordshire

By Lynn Hughes
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:36 pm

Just over a month after it stopped its roadside glass collections, Luton Council is set to restart the service.

The service will resume again the week of September 20, with collection days dependent on where people are in the four weekly schedule.

The collections had stopped on August 12 after the council said vacancies and unplanned absences were having a severe impact on staffing levels.

Luton Town Hall

It was decided to prioritise the collection of black waste bins, green recycling and garden waste during the period.

The move comes as Central Bedfordshire Council has announced it will continue its suspension of garden waste collections throughout September due to the ongoing national shortage of HGV drivers.

In a statement CBC said: "We are exploring all possibilities with our contractor to enable us to restart a garden waste collection service, even if it is less frequent as an interim measure. We hope to be able to confirm by the end of next week (week ending 19 September) when garden waste collections will resume.

"Driver shortages are affecting many businesses that rely on HGV drivers. Whilst, we have needed to suspend our garden waste collections temporarily, we are continuing to prioritise the drivers we have to ensure we continue to collect your black bins, food waste and recycling from over 120,000 households every week.

"We are also doing everything we can to recruit drivers and upskill existing staff where possible. Unfortunately, resolving the shortage of drivers is not a quick fix. Our ability to source qualified drivers, who are seeking employment, and agency staff has been dramatically reduced. Our contractor is offering increased hourly rates and fast-tracking new drivers through the training programme. However, a national backlog of driving tests and processing of driving licenses is impacting the duration of this process significantly.

"If you hold an up to date LGV2 Licence and want to join a committed team, please apply here: Waste vehicle drivers generally work more regular daytime hours and fewer weekends than other sectors. Our contractor FCC also offer an employee benefits scheme, overtime and job security".