Cllr Sue Lissimore

Conservative Spokesperson

Waste collection and recycling

Enough is enough. We all know the desperate, unique situation we are in. Our health must come first, but, our everyday life does still continue. 

Conservative Councillors have been inundated with concerns from local residents about recycling collections and why Colchester Borough Council had suspended them. The main question is, why was CBC the only Council in Essex to suspend recycling collections?  Why were we different to everyone else? 

There’s two possible answers which we have been given - that it was not safe for the crews to work, and, that staff levels were so low there was not the capacity to continue collecting recycling. 

If it was a safety issue, and the Council must never put the safety of our refuse collectors at risk, why did other councils continue collecting recycling?  Were they all wrong and CBC were right?  Were all other Councils putting their staff at risk?  We have seen in our supermarkets, screens that have been installed to protect their staff - protection is available. We have not seen any evidence that other Councils had it wrong, and CBC had it right - we have asked for this evidence but it has not been forthcoming. 

If, and we believe this is more likely, it was a staff capacity issue, then this has been a problem for CBC for many years. They have been using agency staff for a long while - and with staff self isolating, some staff on sick leave and agency staff leaving for alternative roles, this is more like the reason why recycling was so quickly dropped at Colchester Council. 

Once a month Collection is not good enough. Giving us an extra black bag is not a good direction considering we have been told for so long now to NOT put recycling in black bags. Environmental issues are still continuing regardless of our dire health situation and how many backward steps have we taken on recycling tonnage? 

We, as residents, need our recycling collected from the kerbside to be back to how it should. As Essex County Council reopens the civic amenity site (Shrub End tip), how much of the rubbish being taken there would have been collected normally from the kerbside? Are Colchester Council happy to cause chaos at the tip and risk the health of those that work there and residents who visit? 

Reinstate our recycling safely and efficiently. Don’t rely on residents using the tip. Ensure CBC staff stay safe. And, thank you, to all the refuse staff for the fantastic job they do. Stay safe.

Cllr Sue Lissimore     Tel 07540 328316