Blog: Brexit and Covid-19 blamed for waste driver shortage – Materials Recycling World

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has blamed the pandemic and Brexit for a shortage of drivers that has disrupted collections by contractor Suez.

Reacting to complaints of missed collections in parts of the county, SWP said pressures on Suez “are mainly due to an ongoing nationwide shortage of HGV drivers, a situation made worse by Covid (which has meant a backlog of HGV driving tests) and Brexit, which has seen some drivers move back to EU countries.

“Locally there is also a more general shortage of agency staff, plus heavy holiday traffic and congestion and continued heavier than normal loads.”

Recruitment for additional drivers and loaders was taking place in Bridgwater, Evercreech, Taunton, Williton and Yeovil, it said.

SWP said collections of recycling, rubbish and garden waste had all suffered due to the driver shortage.

Rubbish and paid-for garden waste collections had been given priority while “huge efforts [are] made to clear the backlog of recycling.

Residents were urged to take material to household waste and recycling centres if possible.

It said that this week crews had caught up with many round but there were delayed collections in Watchet, South Horrington and Wookey. 

More than 850 cases of the garden waste backlog are expected to be cleared by the end of this week.

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