Second bin collection delay across Gateshead sparks calls for council investigation

Bin collections
Bin collections -Credit:handout

A second disruption to bin collections across Gateshead has sparked calls for investigations into the council’s refuse fleet.

Gateshead Council took to social media on Tuesday to tell residents it was unable to complete bin collections that day across Old Ryton, Blaydon, Stella, Greenside and High Spen. The local authority attributed this to the “unavailability” of vehicles which can access narrow back lanes.

Gateshead Council did reassure residents that missed collections would be followed up on Saturday and there was no need to report any missed bins in the affected areas. This follows on from an earlier delay on April 3, where residents were also left with unemptied bins.

The latest announcement generated as many as 170 comments on Facebook, with many residents voicing frustration and anger over the delays. Now, Gateshead Council’s Liberal Democrat opposition has called for an investigation into the council’s fleet.

Whickham South and Sunniside Liberal Democrat council Jonathan Wallace said: “This is concerning, we would like the council to carry out an investigation into why this has happened.

“We are particularly interested to see if we have an adequate fleet of vehicles, so if a lorry is taken off it shouldn’t impact the overall service.”

Council leader Martin Gannon said: “There are some lanes that are particularly narrow and require a particular vehicle, on this occasion that is what the issue is. We are putting in collections on Saturday to catch up.

“There is no necessity for an investigation, we are fully aware of all of the issues. These refuse collection vehicles are not inexpensive, around £400,000 per vehicle, and they need to be used to their operational capacity, particularly in austerity, making sure we drive the service as effectively as possible.

“There is capacity built into the programme to make sure that for whatever reason we can catch up. Inevitably, in any service there are issues but we have a plan and capacity to ensure people have their refuse collected.”