Recyclable and all garden waste collection still on hold as Wealden strike continues

Recyclable and all garden waste collection still on hold as Wealden strike continues

The GMB union, representing some employees of WDC’s waste contractor Biffa, have issued a notification of their intention to extend the strike to June 25, but Unison-affiliated employees of Biffa accepted a pay deal on April 25.

The industrial action has affected the southern part of Wealden much more than the northern areas near Tunbridge Wells.

“Except for some isolated locations, refuse collections in the north of Wealden have been continuing largely unaffected, although again we regret there have been no recycling or garden waste collections,” said a spokesperson for WDC.

But one Crowborough resident told the Times: “Recycling is the biggest volume of rubbish going out of the house and we’ve now run out of places to store the excess volume that’s mounted up.”

However disposing of recycling in normal refuse bins is not something WDC will tolerate, they said: “Rubbish bins are only for non-recyclable household waste.  If they contain recycling or garden waste, they will not be emptied.”

The Council added that recycling facilities such as Crowborough household waste recycling site at Farningham Road remained open.

Biffa employees affiliated with another union, Unison, had accepted the deal offered, that would see pay increase by up to 17 per cent this year plus a £600 guaranteed bonus.

However, the GMB union rejected the deal saying: “Biffa’s failure to table a serious offer to resolve this dispute is a disgrace that is hitting keyworkers and local people hard.

“Refuse workers, who were rightly clapped by the public for keeping key services going during the pandemic, find themselves getting poverty pay and, with energy and food bills skyrocketing, it is impossible for many to get by on these wages.”

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