Trafford Council has accused its waste contractor Amey of “failing” residents as more and more people across Altrincham report that they have gone weeks without having their bins collected.
The local authority has taken the unusual step of issuing a public letter to Amey, who took on bin collection services in the borough after signing a £12m-a-year deal with the then-Conservative administration back in 2015.
Trafford said it had taken the step despite “repeated meetings with Amey at a senior level” which it said “have not led to the improvements that the Council was expecting”.
Altrincham Today has been inundated with reports from local residents complaining about the service, particularly since a timetable change was introduced in October.
One recent correspondent, Pam Hutton, said: “What has gone wrong with the bin collection? I live in a block of ten apartments and we haven’t had our rubbish bin emptied for about six weeks and the last time this happened we had to get a private firm to come and remove it. As you can imagine it is very unsightly and the smell is disgusting.”
The council said that “immediate action is needed” and that Amey’s “persistent failures” were breaching its statutory duties around waste collection.
The letter demands that:
- Supervisors monitoring all collection rounds to ensure completion for all properties until there is a full cycle of rounds at the required performance level;
- Additional resources to be deployed to ensure full completion of each round on the day due for collection
- A proactive communications plan to provide accurate information to councillors and residents on performance and the improvement plan;
- The drawing up of a detailed plan setting out details of how the service is to be maintained at the required contractual levels
Trafford warned that it could be forced to step in an run the service on a temporary basis unless there was an improvement.
Trafford Council Leader Andrew Western said: “The waste collection service is simply not up to scratch – it is failing and the residents of Trafford deserve better.
“I am getting complaint after complaint from angry and frustrated residents and I share their anger. What is happening is not good enough. Amey need to get their act together.
“We were promised the route changes implemented back in October would lead to an improvement in the service but despite repeated assurance at the meetings we have had with Amey, it has not happened – the service has got worse.
“Residents repeatedly face not having their bins collected and as a Council we cannot stand idly by and that is why we are demanding action.
“Partnerships involve working together but I am afraid Amey are not delivering on their side of this partnership.”
Michael Welton, Green Party councillor for Altrincham, said the situation needed to be addressed “right away”.
He said: “Altrincham’s residents are rightly frustrated by the decline in service since the change in Trafford’s bin schedule in October 2019.
“Whole streets and apartment blocks have been regularly missed, and we have been helping a number of older or less mobile residents get their assisted collections restored. Whatever the longer term future of the contract with Amey, it is vital that the current problems with the service are addressed right away.”