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Council warns bin lorries are operating ‘beyond their economic life’

05 Apr 2024 2 minute read
Caerphilly bin lorry. Image: CCBC

Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter

A Welsh council has warned that its fleet of bin lorries which collect food and garden waste is in urgent need of repairs.

Caerphilly Council says its organic recycling vehicles are already operating “beyond their economic life” and are “experiencing significant downtime due to continual repairs”.

The council is preparing a new Waste Strategy, aimed at improving its recycling rates and avoiding costly Welsh Government fines.

But new collection arrangements for organic waste won’t come into effect until 2027, meaning the council has to “bridge a gap” until then using its current lorries.

The council has warned of an “urgent need to ensure food and garden waste collections are not compromised during this three-year interim period”.

Reputational damage

Failing to keep up with collections at roughly 80,000 properties each week would cause “reputational damage” to Caerphilly Council, according to a new report.

At a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Wednesday April 3, members approved spending £148,000 on urgent maintenance of the organic recycling fleet.

Chris Morgan, the cabinet member for waste, noted the council’s recent progress in improving food recycling – such as supplying free caddy liners to residents – and told colleagues the “current unreliability” of the lorries “puts this success at risk”.

Cabinet member Carol Andrews asked whether the “refurb will be enough to see us through” to 2027, when new collection systems for organic waste will come into force.

Marcus Lloyd, the council’s head of infrastructure, said the council “should be able to get more efficiency out of the vehicles” during the interim.

Buying replacement lorries is not an option, according to the council report, because they would become “obsolete” under the new system in three years’ time.

The funding for the emergency repairs will come from the council’s unallocated capital reserves – and deputy leader Jamie Pritchard told colleagues that type of spending was “why we have got reserves”.

Mr Lloyd confirmed it would take around two weeks to repair each lorry, and this would be done “on a rolling programme” to prevent any disruption to the whole fleet.


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Wiv
Wiv
1 month ago

Why weren’t the repairs done in the winter when they aren’t being yoused

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