Up to 550 missed bin collections in a month in Northampton

Rubbish on the Mounts area of Northampton. NNL-150707-120933009
Rubbish on the Mounts area of Northampton. NNL-150707-120933009

A damning report has revealed Northampton Borough Council’s environmental services contractor has missed its bin collection targets every month this year.

The authority has set Enterprise, which has been running its waste collection services since 2011, a target of missing no more than 117 bin collections every month across the town.

But a document presented to members of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee shows the firm, owned by Amey, has not been within 100 of that target once this year.

In particular, in January 550 were not collected and in June 433 were not cleared away as they should have been.

Councillor Gareth Eales, who is the opposition Labour group’s deputy leader and environment spokesperson, said: “I am concerned that this missed bin problem won’t be solved any time soon either.”

Councillor Eales claims to have arranged a meeting to discuss the matter with “senior figures” at Northampton Borough Council in September.

In the report, a missed bin is classed as any wheelie bin or box not taken by Enterprise on a collection day.

The figures also show that Enterprise has fallen further behind the 117 monthly target since last year. In the first six months of 2014, it also missed all of its collection targets.

In many of the cases, the report suggests, missed bin collections were rearranged for a later date.

But cabinet member for environment at the borough council, Councillor Alan Bottwood, said the authority is unhappy about targets not being met.

He said: “This is an issue we have raised with Enterprise, now owned by Amey.

“We expect our targets to be met.

“People are rightly concerned about the service they receive, and can be assured that we are holding our contractors to account.”

But a spokeswoman for Enterprise said the figures paint the firm in an unfair light as it is bound into following the council policy of not collecting “side waste”.

She said: “If residents do not put out their bin for collection or if side waste is presented, both of these instances are recorded as a missed bin collection and contribute to a higher reported figure. We are continuing to work with the council to improve these figures, in the meantime we are advising residents to use the local recycling facilities for larger items, removing the need to leave waste outside .”