WEEKS of missed bin collections by the council creating a “health hazard” has prompted one man to brand the authority ‘out of control’ – and he was left in further disbelief when he received a tweet saying ‘go to the dump’.

Neil Goulder, of Brawlings Lane, in Chalfont St Peter, has seen almost eight weeks of general waste “piled up in the road” after Buckinghamshire Council missed its collections – and he was left speechless when it sent him a message on Twitter saying he could visit his local recycling centre instead.

The charity finance director told the Free Press numerous complaints by phone or on the council website have been “ignored”, disappearing “into a black hole”.

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He said there are two problems with the authority’s refuse service in his area.

Firstly, claiming Friday collections are missed “most weeks” and do not “remedy on the Saturday and it is often Tuesday or Wednesday before they come back”. Adding: “But often they don’t come back at all.”

And secondly, claiming Buckinghamshire Council “seems to have lost control both of the contractors and the support processes”.

Bucks Free Press:

He said the tweet he received about dropping the waste off at a refuse centre was so “the council can get warm fuzzies about having solved the problem”.

“Refuse collection is almost non-existent for general waste in the Chalfont St Peter area,” said Mr Goulder.

“It has only been collected once in almost eight weeks. We are supposed to get fortnightly collections. The rubbish piles up along the lane for days on end and is a health hazard.

“We have been given no reason for this by the council.

“We have reported missed collections to the council each time on its website which are ignored. One case was closed as having been resolved when the rubbish remained piled up in the road.”

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Bucks Free Press:

Mr Goulder said the only feedback received so far from the council was a tweet saying, “any excess general waste can be taken to your local recycling centre free of charge”.

“I am sure you can imagine how this has been received,” he said. “Sure – we would love to load our cars up with month-old waste and deliver them to the council so it can get warm fuzzies about having solved the problem.

“A formal complaint, issued on September 2, should have received a formal written response within 20 working days, but we have heard nothing.

“Complaints disappear into a black hole, and voicemail messages do not receive an acknowledgment or response.

“Missed bin reports are often not actioned; formal complaints are not dealt with; there is no one on the end of the phone, and voicemail messages are not actioned.

He added: “The council seems to have lost control both of its management role and of its contractors.”

Bill Chapple, Buckinghamshire Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: "We would like to apologise to Mr Goulder and other residents who have experienced missed waste collections in recent weeks. We acknowledge that there have been operational delays for some collections locally. These standards fall below the level we expect for our residents, and we are committed to resolve these problems.  

 “We have recently changed service provider and we have been working closely with them to resolve some initial teething problems following the service transition. We are working hard to address these issues, to correct and improve the services we provide to residents.  

"The vast majority of residents do continue to receive a regular, reliable waste collection service. For example, we have a 99.62 per cent bin collection success rate in the former Chiltern and Wycombe District Council areas. However, we recognise that improvements need to be made to address problems experienced in recent weeks. We are working in collaboration with our new service provider to deliver these as soon as possible." 

Got a council story? Get in touch: rory.butler@newsquest.co.uk