Extended changes to household waste collections – Chiltern and Wycombe areas only

Buckinghamshire Council is asking residents in Chiltern and Wycombe to carry on disposing of food waste in their general rubbish until further notice.

Residents in these areas have already been asked to throw away food waste with their general household waste for the last four weeks. The Council is having to extend this arrangement because of the on-going national HGV driver shortage.

It means people living in Chiltern and Wycombe should carry on doing what they’ve been doing in recent weeks with food waste – throwing it away with their general rubbish (in the black bin). Brown food caddies will still be emptied if they’re put out on general rubbish week only, but this waste will not be recycled during this time.

Collections in the rest of Buckinghamshire are unaffected and these changes impact residents in Chiltern and Wycombe only.

Despite best efforts to recruit new drivers and upskill existing staff, there are still not enough drivers to reinstate separate food collections on 13 Sept as previously planned. Our contractor Veolia is taking proactive measures to address the staff shortage, including incentivised recruitment packages and retention bonuses for staff.

Peter Strachan is Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment. He said:

“It is regretful that we can’t bring back separate food waste collections yet, but we are being greatly hampered by the ongoing national HGV driver shortage and how it’s impacted driver staffing levels in Chiltern and Wycombe. We’ve taken this difficult decision so we can keep regular waste collections going while reducing the number of rounds we make given we have fewer drivers.

“We could have cut garden waste collections instead, but we didn’t want to do this during the growth season, and we could have put an embargo on driver’s holiday, but we didn’t want to penalise them for a situation not of their making, especially when our crews are already working very hard in a challenging climate of staff shortages.

“We are working hard with our contractor to get the food waste service back to normal as soon as possible; I apologise to residents in these areas for this ongoing disruption and thank them for their patience and understanding at this difficult time. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to put an end date to these arrangements at this time, but we ask you to bear with us and we will update as soon as the situation improves."