Aberdeenshire Council has apologised to residents after Covid staff shortages left bins overflowing over the festive period.
The Scottish Government’s strict isolation rules were only eased from a 10-day stay-at-home requirement to seven days yesterday following weeks of pressure.
The guidelines affected various industries, and severely depleted refuse collection teams across the north-east.
One Balmedie resident got in touch with us to report that “half the community” was “stuck with full bins” jam-packed with Christmas waste.
Depots plunged into chaos by virus
After being approached by the Press and Journal, the local authority last night said sorry to affected residents.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council blamed the missed collections on “colleagues having to self-isolate and other winter illnesses”.
She added: “The vast majority of routes have been revisited where necessary but two out of six depots – Mintlaw and Ellon – are continuing to do their best to catch up.
“Residual waste (black bins) collections have been prioritised and an extra collection is planned for Foveran, rural Balmedie, Newmachar and Collieston this Friday.”
The council confirmed it won’t be possible to send out extra trucks to collect recyclable waste that has been left to accumulate.
But the spokeswoman assured residents that “excess materials” set out beside bins in boxes will be picked up at the next scheduled date.
Apologies as Aberdeenshire bins left full due to Covid
The council’s head of environment and sustainability Ewan Wallace acknowledged the problem couldn’t have come at a worse time.
He added: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused at a time when many residents have a lot of waste to dispose of.
“Slots are available at our household waste recycling centres.
“And excess waste will be accepted at the next normal collection date for all routes affected.
“We would like to ask all customers for your patience and understanding at this particularly challenging time.
“Lots of industries are struggling at the moment and councils are no different.
“Colleagues are doing their absolute best to make it across our extensive network and very much appreciate your support.”
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