Fly tipping fears as West Lothian bins are set to go uncollected this week

Covid absences will hit bin collections across West Lothian this week for the first time since the pandemic took hold in March last year.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:45 pm

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Householders are being advised to expect delays over collections of blue bins – as fly tipping continues to be a massive problem across the county.

Fewer staff, the absences down to Covid-related and other absences means it will not be possible to complete all 150,000 bin collections planned across the county.

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The Covid pandemic has heaped pressure on refuse collectors

Additional staff are being redeployed from other council teams, with refresher training being given to those who helped maintain collections in Spring 2020.

The mounting pressure on refuse collection staff comes amid a huge rise in illegal fly tipping across West Lothian with rural areas blighted by domestic and commercial waste.

Brown and grey bin collections are being prioritised over blue bins for hygiene reasons, with residents encouraged to store excess clean recycling in their homes or outbuildings where possible until it can be collected.

Fly tipping incidents have soared during lockdown

No scheduled blue bin collections will be made today (Tuesday 20 July) to allow available staff to focus on brown and grey bins. Every effort will be made to empty blue bins where resources allow, and we will provide an update regarding any outstanding blue bin collections later in the week.

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Local residents are thanked for their patience while we make every effort to ensure brown and grey bins are collected.

“The high levels of absence currently in our waste team due to a wide range of factors, including Covid-related issues not connected to their work, means we do not currently have the resources to complete all planned collections.

Shocking scenes like this are blighting West Lothian

“In the current warm conditions, prioritising brown and grey bins is essential, which means blue bin collections will be disrupted.

“Thanks to our hard-working staff, we are one of the few Scottish councils who have not suspended bin collections during the pandemic, and we will work to get collections back to normal as soon as resources allow.”

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