A senior Dundee councillor has cited a lack of resources as one of the main reasons why food waste collections across the city remain temporarily halted.
On March 19, it was announced that the council was to stop all food waste collections the following week, to allow prioritisation of general waste collections.
In a video interview with the Tele Anne Rendall, convener of neighbourhood services, said that although it will “hopefully” not be too long until the service resumes, the council’s environmental department is still dealing with a relatively high absence rate.
Ms Rendall said: “We still have quite a high absence rate due to Covid-related issues, in that section. And because of physical distancing measures it takes more resource to do the stuff that we usually do.
“With the refuse cars, for example, we need to look at getting some of the guys getting taken up in a separate vehicle because there’s usually three people.
“All that kind of thing has taken up more resource so it means that, at the moment, we still can’t go back to collecting the food waste.
“It’s a shame because we were starting to do quite well on the recycling stuff. Food waste was the one that was still a bit difficult – some people not really willing to do it.
“I think there’s still a bit more education that we can do and we’re looking at doing that, and how we can make the communication better, before we get back to doing this.
“We do plan to do it, as soon as we possibly can and as soon as we have the resources. But at the moment, I can’t give you a date because we can’t decide that as yet. Hopefully it won’t be too long.”
Ms Rendall did note that the number of missed bin collections across the city during the pandemic is “extremely low”.
She said: “Although we’ve had staff absences, we’ve been quite lucky. I would suggest that the number of missed collections has been extremely low.
“I walk about the wards every single day and as soon as I see any side waste or additional stuff, I phone them and they come right away.
“There have been instances of people being ridiculously reckless and dumping mattresses at the side of Eurobins and so on, but they’ve been really good at collecting that. And now that the recycling centres are open, there’s no need for anybody to be doing that.
“I would suggest that we have done a sterling job and I really would like to commend the staff that have done that because it’s not an easy thing to have worked through.”
Council leader John Alexander added: “The staff have played an absolute blinder throughout this and have really worked hard across the community – and that’s been recognised.
“I’ve seen it, even in my own street, people going out and thanking the people that are collecting their bins.
“I think the Evening Tele had even produced some of these posters thanking various staff and that was good.
“Different cohorts of staff don’t necessarily get the recognition they deserve. It’s one of those services that we take for granted.
“I’ve had very few complaints at all over the space of the year, never mind just the last three months. I think that shows that, for the vast majority of people, the service is fantastic.”