THE council has apologised for missed bins across the county that it confessed caused “a lot of distress” – and for keeping residents who tried to complain on the phone for too long.

Cabinet member for climate change and environment, Cllr Gareth Williams said Bucks Council is sorry for recent missed bin collections, particularly in the south of the county.

He said “intelligence” was not passed from old crews to new after Veolia took up the contract a year and a half ago.

Cllr Williams said retirement homes, schools, and collections “behind homes” had been “particular” problem areas, and that people had become “irate”.

He also said his bank holiday was “utterly ruined” by the “sheer volume of complaints”, adding more drivers and loaders had been brought in with supervisors from Veolia and managers from the council.

Cllr Williams said Bucks Council is also looking at ways to make it “easier to report bins online”.

He said the failure is “really unacceptable”.

Cabinet member for accessible housing and resources, Cllr John Chilver added he is aware of longer than usual call waiting times when contacting the council. He said the authority received more than 3,000 calls before 3pm on June 6, when normally it gets about 1,500.

“I want to apologise to everyone who has had missed bins, which particularly affected those in the south of the county,” said Cllr Williams.

“Those who have tried to report it online and struggled, those who have had unacceptably long call centre waits, and for members and councillors who have had to endure a much higher than is acceptable number of, often irate, correspondence. Bank holidays, like mine, utterly ruined by the sheer volume of complaints that we have received.

“What has gone on here is […]we had a round reorganisation that’s taken place in the south of the county […] the contractor (Veolia) has had this contract for about a year and a half. Folks’ homes, schools, lanes, collections behind homes, those are the particular areas that seem to have been a recurring problem.

“For some reason, the intelligence wasn’t effectively passed on to the new crews as well as it should have been. We’ve had to have very regular contact with the contractor. They’ve got 30 per cent more drivers and loaders on to try and deal with this issue.

“We’ve had a surge in contact to the contact centre, and complaints. It is really unacceptable. It has caused a lot of distress. It is something we are doing a root and branch assessment of and I’m overseeing that as well.

“We have supervisors from Veolia out today. We’ve got a contract management operative from the council following up as well. We are going to be making it easier to report bins online […]because it’s really been an unacceptable state of affairs.”