Biffa has apologised to residents for the ongoing disruption to Epping Forest waste and recycling collection services.
Councillors met senior waste company executives in Epping on 12 January to review contract performance.
Significant problems with the Epping Forest contract
Simon Crook, Biffa’s Operations Director said:
As one of the UK’s biggest waste management companies, we pride ourselves on our reputation for good customer service. Unfortunately, there have been significant problems with the Epping Forest contract, but everyone at Biffa is 100% committed to giving residents the service they deserve.
We have had a full and frank discussion with Epping Forest district councillors, and neither Biffa nor the council want the recent level of service to continue.
There are many reasons for the missed collections, exacerbated by the recent snow and other matters beyond our control, including global supply chain issues and the national HGV driver shortage, but that does not make the inconvenience to residents any less.
We’d like to apologise for what’s happened, and I want to reassure residents that we are doing all we can with Epping Forest District Council to improve the situation as quickly as possible.
Full and frank discussion
Council Leader Chris Whitbread and Cabinet Portfolio Holder Nigel Avey called the face-to-face meeting to address ongoing concerns.
Councillor Chris Whitbread said:
We had a full and frank discussion. As councillors, our residents talk to us every day. They have been telling us the situation is not good enough. Whatever the reasons, performance must improve.
Council staff are in daily contact with Biffa, but it was important for senior councillors and Biffa management to meet face to face. We understand each other and Biffa has agreed a range of measures that residents should start to see as service improvements in the next few days and weeks.
Working with Biffa to improve communications
Councillor Nigel Avey added:
Biffa has given us undertakings. Problems such as staff shortages and unreliable vehicles are being addressed.
We are talking with other waste contractors. Biffa has agreed to make its MRF recycling facilities available to these contractors.
We are working with Biffa to improve communications between its staff and our contact centre to handle customer complaints. Biffa will provide better live-time information so that when a collection is missed, residents will have a more realistic expectation as to when it will be collected.
The current missed collection rounds will be caught up in the next couple of cycles and the large number of missed collections experienced over Christmas should not be repeated.
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