Anger as shortage of drivers leaves rubbish piled up on Aberdeen streets

Bin collections in the city were missed – due to a lack of drivers working over the Christmas period.

Currently drivers are not contracted to work over Christmas – instead volunteering to work shifts – however, a shortage of staff led to some collections being missed.

Residents in one affected city community today hit out after bins have been left uncollected since December 23, with the situation being described as “disgusting” and a “total mess”.

Council chiefs said collections are set to return to normal next week – but warned there would be a backlog to tackle.

Aberdeen City Council was forced to apologise last summer after a shake-up of recycling services prompted 7,000 complaints over missed collections.

Zero waste management sub committee convener Councillor Philip Bell said the missed collections over Christmas could be down to a lack of drivers.

He said: “Less than half the usual complement of drivers had agreed to come in over the Christmas period.

“It was a skeleton crew. They come in on a voluntary basis I’m told.

“We’re relying on the goodwill of drivers to come in. I know that 19 had volunteered. “It isn’t a contractual thing for them to come in. I think I need to discuss this with the refuse collection group to see what they can do in the future.”

Cllr Bell added: “If people are very concerned what they could do is take the refuse to the recycling centre themselves. “It’s a potential short-term solution if people are concerned about the waste collection.”

Swannay Square and Shapinsay Square in Woodend and areas of Tillydrone have been affected by missed collections, as well as city centre addresses.

Cllr Bell said: “I’ve had quite a few people e-mail me with problems. I know people do get very, very upset about it not being collected and quite rightly so.”

Kim Strachan, 48, an administrator, who lives close to one of the bin areas at Shapinsay Square in Sheddocksley, said: “It’s disgusting.

“It’s a real issue and obviously collecting the bins is a total necessity.”

Support worker Jamie McPherson, 32, who also lives at Shapinsay Square, said: “It’s a total mess and really bad to look at.

“The council aren’t helping at all. If there aren’t any formal contracts for workers then they need to sort that out.”

Fellow resident Mike Macnab, 43, a firefighter, said: “It’s a real mess and it’s just a matter of time until seagulls come along.”

A spokeswoman for Aberdeen City Council apologised for the situation.

She added: “Unfortunately these things happen at this time of year. We would always ask people to report it when their communal bins are full.”