Cumbria

Allerdale bin collection woes blamed on 'data inaccuracy'

Wheeled rubbish bin filled with paper and card
Image caption The suspension meant some bins were not emptied for two months

A waste company has blamed "inaccurate" council data for problems which led to a two-month suspension of bin collections.

Allerdale Borough Council in west Cumbria halted recycling and garden waste collections over the summer to prioritise household waste.

FCC Environment said the service it was asked to provide did not reflect what was needed.

The council has been approached for comment.

The council had previously re-tendered its refuse collection contract to improve recycling and cut costs and, after emerging as the preferred bidder, FCC Environment was re-appointed.

However, problems emerged in April with the introduction of new bin collection rounds and new lorries, leading to the decision to temporarily suspend garden waste and glass, cans and plastic recycling services.

'Under resourced'

The move, which sparked public anger, was intended to allow contractors to prioritise household waste collection and to allow time to work out a solution.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, FCC Environment said the incorrect council data was the "root cause" of the "under-resourcing" of the contract.

A spokesman said: "Inaccuracies meant around 2,500 properties were missed from the data and a substantial number of the commercial collection services were not included.

"This led to a number of households being missed from the collection schedule and incomplete rounds being recorded."

When issues with collections emerged, one Cockermouth resident said the contractors did not know where they were going with reports of crews going round with a map to find their way.

The council has said it would be terminating FCC Environment's £25m contract next April and bringing the service in-house.

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