GMB union members began five days of strike action at Veolia waste and recycling plants across Nottinghamshire from Tuesday, September 26, after the GMB claims that service provider Veolia refused to negotiate a pay offer that reflects the cost of living crisis.
Since the strike began Nottinghamshire bin lorries from Mansfield, Ashfield and Bassetlaw household waste and recycling sites have been descending upon Derbyshire waste centres and dropping off their waste.
GMB spokesperson Mick Coppin said: “Derbyshire residents will no doubt resent Veolia creating a situation where their fine county is becoming Nottinghamshire’s waste bin in this way. It’s time for Veolia to commit to listening to our members and getting this settled once and for all.”
Mansfield’s Materials Recycling Facility, Ashfield’s Welsh Croft Close site and Bassetlaw’s Claylands Avenue site are all affected, according to the GMB union, and they process household waste and recycling for more than 250,000 homes in north Nottinghamshire.
Ashfield District Council has stated that Veolia was working to ensure their sites remain open for waste collection vehicles to dispose of household and trade waste and that its residents should still leave their bins out for collections on scheduled collection days.
However, waste collection lorries from Nottinghamshire have reportedly been queuing across the county border after the five-day strike began to utilise other waste centres in Derbyshire.
Mr Coppin also said: “Our members are on strike for a pay packet that covers the bills; it is that simple. They are minimum wage workers being treated with disdain by Veolia.
“For Veolia to think it’s fair to dump Nottinghamshire’s waste in Derbyshire’s creaking refuse collection sites is shocking.”
Derbyshire County Council, which has a total of nine household waste recycling centres, is aware of the situation but apparently none of the sites being utilised in Derbyshire for the Nottinghamshire waste are owned by Derbyshire County Council.
It is understood that the sites being used to take waste from Nottinghamshire are commercially-operated sites, and that they are not owned by Derbyshire County Council or particularly used by the Derbyshire local authority.
Derbyshire County Council is aware of the situation but because it understands none of the waste sites involved are owned by the local authority it believes this is not an issue for the council to comment upon.
Veolia has stated that it had reached an agreement with the GMB union and negotiated a two-year pay deal for the Nottinghamshire employees in 2022 and that it had offered to engage in pay discussions for 2024.
The waste management company has also stated that it remains committed to engage in early pay discussions for 2024 and in the meantime it will be seeking to minimise any disruption caused by the industrial action.
Derbyshire County Council’s household waste recycling centres are based at Chesterfield, Bolsover, Loscoe, Northwood at Darley Dale, Waterswallows near Buxton, Ilkeston, Glossop, Ashbourne, and Bretby but it is not yet clear which of these sites are being utilised for incoming waste from Nottinghamshire.
Derby City Council also operates a household waste recycling centre on Raynesway Park Drive off the A5111 Raynesway.