South Staffordshire waste services suffer staff shortage of 40 per cent

South Staffordshire Council is running behind with waste and recycling collection due to a staff absence rate of 40 per cent, primarily from Covid-19 related reasons.

Recycling and waste collections have been delayed, following a backlog of work as a result of last week’s weather and an excess of staff shortages.

Biffa collection truckA statement from the council revealed that many of the workforce missing from work have been requested to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace system.

Residents in the South Staffordshire area have been told to leave their grey bins at collection points, where they will be collected a day later than scheduled. Residents can also add an additional two bags of waste to account for the extra waste caused by the delay.

Grey bins are currently being prioritised, while the Council has stated that blue bins should be taken back inside until the next collection day in two weeks.

The news comes after the Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH) declared it had found no Covid-19 outbreaks in waste and recycling workplaces.

There has been growing demand for waste service staff to be classified as “essential” workers due to the risk of more waste disruption taking place in more areas.

South Staffordshire Council is one of many local authorities that has waste collected by a private company, Biffa, rather than using in-house services.

The question of whether to privatise waste services has been heavily debated within the industry, with the Labour Party encouraging councils to go in-house and the Environmental Services Association (ESA) responding that private companies save money and bring higher recycling rates.


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