Green waste collections could be disrupted in the coming weeks in South Lakeland as the district council is hit by HGV driver shortages.
South Lakeland District Council said it would continue to prioritise key general waste and kerbside recycling collections, but has warned green waste collections could face disruption.
Sion Thomas, operational lead for delivery and commercial services at SLDC, said the authority was working to minimise the disruption.
He said: “Like many organisations nationally we have been impacted by the well-documented national shortage of qualified HGV drivers for our wagons, with difficulties recruiting to current vacancies.
“This has been compounded by the ongoing impact of waste and recycling staff being affected by COVID and increased waste tonnages, which means it is taking longer to complete the collection rounds, with recycling and green waste volumes up by more than 11 per cent from the norm, equating to around another 5,000 households of waste.
“We are not alone in these issues and councils the length of the country are facing similar challenges, with many, including some of our neighbouring authorities in Cumbria, already suspending collections.
“Official Government guidance if councils are struggling is to first look to suspend the non-statutory green waste collections to protect the main general waste and recycling collections.
“We make collections from more than 50,000 properties every week and, at present, we are still managing to maintain services and we are not suspending green collections at this stage. However, we are informing residents that there may well be some disruption to some green collections over the coming weeks.
“We are doing everything we can to minimise the disruption.
“On a day-to-day basis we will be looking for solutions to issues as they arise, but it may mean adjustments to rounds, we may turn up a bit earlier or later than usual, and it may mean in some areas that green waste collections are missed as we need to use that wagon and crew for general waste or recycling collection duties in other areas.
“Our guidance to householders is that we will try to collect your grey bin or recycling on the scheduled day.
“If we are unable to do this please leave your waste or recycling available for collection. We will return as soon as possible, which may be the following Saturday morning. If we are unable to collect your green bin on the scheduled day please take the bin back to the storage point until the next scheduled collection day.
“Once again we are asking for patience and understanding from residents during this period and we want to reassure our communities that we are working hard to maintain collections as much as we can, while recognising that some of the current impacts are because of circumstances beyond our control.’’