Torbay bin collection backlog catching up 'as soon as possible'

Torbay Weekly

'Significant progress' has been made towards meeting the bin collection backlog with Torbay Council setting its sights on catching up 'as soon as possible'.

As of Monday, January 24, the council said it was 15 collection rounds behind and wished to catch up as soon as possible, barring any further outbreaks of sickness and isolation.

They added that SWISCo, the council’s waste collection company, had a driver and a loader with Covid and three others members of frontline staff self-isolating.

Nineteen collection rounds are usually completed every day but the council has been more than 38 collections behind at some points in January.

The collection backlog has been caused by staff shortages as omicron rips through the workforce.

As of Tuesday, January 18, more than 20 of 95 frontline collection staff were off sick or self-isolating.

Torbay Council says it does not know how many of these staff members are vaccinated because it does not ask them.

Earlier this month, Cllr Mike Morey, the council’s Cabinet member for infrastructure, environment and culture, told Torbay cabinet that unvaccinated staff having to self-isolate was 'the biggest problem' facing Torbay Council as it struggled to catch up with an 'unprecedented' rubbish collection backlog in recent weeks.