New Forest District Council garden waste collections suspension will continue indefinitely
THE suspension of garden waste collections in the New Forest is set to continue indefinitely due to ongoing staff shortages.
The district council's fortnightly, paid-for service was initially suspended on 19th July for a minimum of four weeks with the hope that it could restart this month.
However, severe staff shortages – blamed on the national lack of HGV drivers – mean New Forest District Council is still prioritising the household waste and recycling collections from the area's 80,000 homes.
The garden waste service staff have been redeployed to support the black and clear sack collections.
An NFDC spokesperson said: “We are continually assessing service provision and at this time are unable to give a restart date.
"We are recruiting and working with agency staff, and will update customers as soon as we are able. Thank you for your understanding.”
When the service restarts NFDC is promising all existing garden waste service customers will receive an extension for any suspended time, so the number of collections will be the same.
Where possible residents are being encouraged to compost their garden waste at home, with 150 free home composting bins available on a first-come, first-served basis through Hampshire County Council’s Smart Living team.
Alternatively, residents can book a slot at one of HCC's household waste and recycling centres by visiting www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/recyclingcentres/book-appointment
As reported in the A&T, the driver shortage also forced BCP Council to suspend its garden waste service indefinitely in July, including in Christchurch.