What now for the #MedwayBinCrisis?

It comes every year around the end of December. A stressful time of year when we already have so much else to worry about. Christmas? Sure, that’s stressful too, but it’s nothing compared to the #MedwayBinCrisis.

For the past four Christmases, the refuse collection service in Medway has been a bit rubbish, if you’ll excuse the pun. Despite operating without any real problems in the years previously, something went rather wrong in the 2015 Christmas to New Year, and it’s something Medway Council have been struggling to get a handle on ever since.

Obviously, there is an uptick in the amount of waste in this period, which can lead to some difficulties with collections. But year after year, we end up with harrowing scenes of streets strewn with uncollected rubbish for days at a time.

The #MedwayBinCrisis doesn’t seem to hit all areas each year, so you may have been lucky enough to have avoided it on some or all of the past four years. But clearly Medway Council and their contractor Veolia struggle to stay on top of collections at the busiest time of year. For the 2018-19 period, garden waste collections were suspended so more time could be dedicated to waste and recycling, and while this did lead to some improvement, the above shows that provision was still far from perfect.

It’s hard to predict what will come of the #MedwayBinCrisis in future years., but there is a serious point to be made here. This year, the Medway Council contract for waste collection is being withdrawn from Veolia and brought under one of Medway Council’s commercial companies. Given the issues of services like CCTV being operated under this model though, it’s questionable as to whether this will lead to any improvement in service.

One final, potentially troubling thought: If Medway Council can’t even prepare a to collect the bins in a timely manner, we should probably be slightly concerned that they don’t think Brexit is worth preparing for at all.

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