Rother’s refuse collection plans are put on hold

Joint waste contract - l-r Cllr Bob Standley (leader of Wealden District Council), Cllr Jeremy Birch (leader Hastings Borough Council ), Nicola Peake (managing director Kier), Cllr Gill Mattock (Chair Joint Waste Committee), Cllr Tony Gandley (Rother District Council)
Joint waste contract - l-r Cllr Bob Standley (leader of Wealden District Council), Cllr Jeremy Birch (leader Hastings Borough Council ), Nicola Peake (managing director Kier), Cllr Gill Mattock (Chair Joint Waste Committee), Cllr Tony Gandley (Rother District Council)

PLANNED changes to refuse collection services in Rother have been pushed back by several months following the disastrous introduction of the new scheme in Wealden.

At the end of 2012, Kier Environmental Services was awarded a 10 year contract to provide refuse collection and recycling services for Rother, Wealden, Hastings and Eastbourne councils.

At the time the authorities said the contract would save taxpayers £30 million and would offer residents a better level of service.

But many residents in Wealden would disagree.

The local council was flooded with complaints in the weeks following the switch over on July 22.

There were reports of rubbish left uncollected for weeks and at the peak of the problem it was estimated that some 10,000 households had their bins missed.

Wealden District Council originally said the problem stemmed from binmen trying to familiarise themselves with new routes.

Kier was due to take over responsibility for recycling and refuse collection in Rother on April 1 2014.

But following the problems in Wealden over the summer, Rother says the new service will now not be introduced in the district until ‘early summer’.

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “The roll-out for beginning charging for the collection of garden waste was originally planned for April 1 next year, however we now expect this to happen in early summer.

“We are monitoring the impact of the introduction of the new waste contract in neighbouring districts and boroughs and it’s important that we learn any lessons from those areas.

“We are in a continuing dialogue with the contractor to ensure everything is in place so the change to the new system can be carried out smoothly.

“For now, the current system of collections will continue as normal, and residents will be advised in good time for the changeover.”