News‎ > ‎myEdinburgh News‎ > ‎

Council Calls in Contractors to Handle Trade Waste

posted 27 Jul 2009, 06:24 by myEdinburgh Admin
As of this morning (Monday 27 July), the City of Edinburgh Council has contracted an external company to collect the City's trade waste. This has been necessary due to refuse collectors in the city not working normally for the past 5 weeks.

Mark Turley, Director of SfC, made the announcement regretfully, "This is the first time that anyone can remember where we have had to call in contractors to carry out the work of our staff, due to an industrial dispute. We have been faced with no option but to hire in staff to carry out trade waste collections in the city. These collections have fallen significantly behind, we have lost valued contracts as a result and we need to mitigate against further losses.”

“We have already seen some businesses asking private waste contractors to take their rubbish rather than the Council. If we aren’t providing the service they are paying for, it’s hardly surprising they will go elsewhere. By bringing in contractors to fulfil our obligations to our customers, we hope to keep that business which ultimately provides employment for our trade waste staff.”

Contracted staff will begin collecting trade waste in the city as of Monday. Staff who normally work on these collection routes will be deployed to household waste collections in an attempt to clear some of the backlog created by the lengthy disruptions to service.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader said, "The alternative to bringing in contractors to cover the trade waste collections is for us to completely suspend the service. At the moment businesses who are Council trade waste customers are being forced into an intolerable position. If we want to have any business left for our collectors to return to, we have to take certain measures."

Councillor Jenny Dawe, Council Leader said, "We have put reasonable offers in front of the unions and they've rejected these out of hand; we have done everything we can to encourage staff back to work and they refuse to. We cannot let our city go to rack and ruin because a small contingent of staff are refusing to acknowledge change and accept proposals that will benefit the majority and leave them no worse off. Proposals to improve shift payments and modernisation of working practices are on the table for discussion and if staff won't provide the service we expect them to, then we are faced with no option but to find someone who will."

Contractors are being brought in to provide a service to the City's trade waste customers and some recycling services. Currently waste collection staff are refusing to work normally whilst unions ballot members for further action. Trade waste customers should present their waste as normal for pick-up.

Source: The City of Edinburgh Council