‘Devastating’ depot fire still hitting Dorset collections

Glass recycling rounds in Dorset are still experiencing disruption following a “devastating” fire at the Crookhill depot in Chickerell in November 2020.

In the fire, 16 of Dorset council’s waste collection vehicles were “destroyed or heavily damaged” (see letsrecycle.com story).

The vehicles were either destroyed or heavily damaged in the fire

In a meeting on Thursday (15 July) the continued disruption to the service was brought up by Cllr Nick Ireland, who expressed frustration that glass collections were missed in the Crossways area, in Dorchester.

Cllr Ireland put the missed collection down to a specialist vehicle, with a split body that can collect dry recycling and glass at the same time, still not being replaced after the previous one was destroyed in the fire.

The council says it has one specialist vehicle but hasn’t been able to source a second.

‘Sufficient resilience’

In a question put to portfolio holder for the service, Cllr Jill Haynes, Cllr Ireland said: “Following yet another recycling collections failure in Crossways Ward, we see again that we don’t have sufficient resilience in the service.

“Why eight months later hasn’t a replacement been sourced? Will the portfolio holder give a date when this will be rectified in order to restore to our council tax paying residents the service level they both expect and deserve?”

Specialist vehicles

Cllr Haynes explained that almost all vehicles have now been replaced, however the council had not been able to replace one of the two specialist vehicles, meaning the collections in certain areas are operating with only one.

These vehicles are used to collect glass recycling a “difficult to access” properties.

She added that this means the council currently does not have an alternative vehicle to collect glass at these properties when the one vehicle is off the road for inspections and repair work.

Cllr Haynes explained that this was the case with the recently missed glass collections in Crossways.

She continued: “The vehicle we use is now back in service and the glass will be collected at the same time as the recycling. Officers are continuing to look at all options including short term lease, if suitable vehicles are available, whilst procurement options are evaluated for new replacement vehicles.

“In the meantime, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and would kindly remind everyone that we will always collect extra household glass during regular recycling collections if presented in a sturdy container.”

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