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The company in charge of the new Super Recycling Service for SHDC has released a new statement following yesterday's council meeting.
In the statement, which is reproduced in full below, FCC Environment apologises to residents and says it is "continuing our efforts to reach those who have been without a service".
The statement says that they are "still experiencing very high volumes of materials", which it says is a "positive" as residents "clearly want to recycle and are keen to use the new system" but that the "increased volumes have exceeded the available capacity on the vehicles" meaning they have to "return to the recycling depot more frequently during the day to unload before being able to continue collecting".
It states: "we would like to reiterate that the vehicles which were selected to deliver this service are purpose built, state of the art recycling vehicles and they are sized to maximise the collection of recycling across the district".
This is despite the fact that FCC Environment have been running the recycling service in the South Hams since April 2019, and smaller vehicles had to be brought in as larger ones were too big to fit down many narrow South Hams lanes.
You can view the full Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting, which was held at West Devon Borough Council offices in Tavistock yesterday on the South Hams District Council's YouTube account, there is a link below.
South Hams Recycling Service Update from FCC Environment in full:
"Following the South Hams Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting in South Hams yesterday, 10th June, FCC Environment would like to confirm that it provided a full and frank account of the current status outlining potential resolutions with regard the new recycling service in South Hams during this session. The meeting was recorded and this recording acts as a permanent public record of our current position.
"FCC Environment has been focusing its efforts on rectifying the issues that it has experienced in rolling out the new recycling service in South Hams.
"We would like to once again apologise to affected residents for the ongoing issues with the delivery of this service and we understand how frustrating it has been for the residents we are struggling to reach. We are continuing our efforts to reach those who have been without a service.
"We have already mobilised significant additional resource to the contract and we have re-assessed all of the options available to us to address these issues including possible temporary changes to the recycling service to overcome the very real challenges we have faced that have prevented us from collecting from some residents. These options are currently with the Council to review.
"We are still experiencing very high volumes of materials which is positive as residents clearly want to recycle and are keen to use the new system. However, these increased volumes have exceeded the available capacity on the vehicles meaning they have to return to the recycling depot more frequently during the day to unload before being able to continue collecting. We would like to reiterate that the vehicles which were selected to deliver this service are purpose built, state of the art recycling vehicles and they are sized to maximise the collection of recycling across the District.
"These increased volumes have also resulted in the recycling depot being full making both unloading of the collection vehicles and the onward operations much more complex. We are working hard and exploring all options in order to find solutions for dealing with these increased volumes.
"We will provide further service updates in due course.
"In the meantime, we do ask residents to continue to follow council advice to place their recycling bins and boxes in the right places for collection. We appreciate for some that this may mean changes to the way their recycling has been collected previously but we ask for your ongoing support on this and we can assure residents that materials put out for recycling are being recycled.
"We would like to thank those residents who have been affected for their continued patience whilst we work to resolve the current difficulties. We remain confident that, once these hurdles have been overcome and with some possible service changes to ease the pressure, that the service we have been contracted to operate across South Hams and West Devon will deliver all of the benefits promised at the outset."
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