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Statement and apology from FCC Environment (UK) Ltd

An extraordinary meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee took place on Thursday 10 June. Following this meeting, our recycling and waste contractors, FCC Environment (UK) Ltd, have now issued a further statement and apology. You can read this below.

Small green recycling vehicle with four sorting compartments

Following the South Hams Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting in South Hams on 10 June, FCC Environment would like to confirm that it provided a full and frank account of the current status. FCC have outlined potential resolutions with regard to the new recycling service in South Hams during this session. The meeting was recorded and this recording acts as a permanent public record of our current position.

FCC Environment has been focusing its efforts on rectifying the issues that it has experienced in rolling out the new recycling service in South Hams.

We would like to once again apologise to affected residents for the ongoing issues with the delivery of this service. We understand how frustrating it has been for the residents we are struggling to reach.  We are continuing our efforts to reach those who have been without a service.

We have already mobilised significant additional resource to the contract and we have re-assessed all of the options available to us to address these issues. One possible option is temporary changes to the recycling service to overcome the very real challenges we have faced that have prevented us from collecting from some residents. These options are currently with the Council to review.

We are still experiencing very high volumes of materials which is positive as residents clearly want to recycle and are keen to use the new system.  However, these increased volumes have exceeded the available capacity on the vehicles. This means they have to return to the recycling depot more frequently during the day to unload before being able to continue collecting.  We would like to reiterate that the vehicles which were selected to deliver this service are purpose-built, state-of-the-art recycling vehicles. They are sized to maximise the collection of recycling across the District.

These increased volumes have also resulted in the recycling depot being full making both unloading of the collection vehicles and the onward operations much more complex.  We are working hard and exploring all options in order to find solutions for dealing with these increased volumes.

We will provide further service updates in due course.

In the meantime, we do ask residents to continue to follow council advice to place their recycling bins and boxes in the right places for collection. We appreciate for some that this may mean changes to the way their recycling has been collected previously but we ask for your ongoing support on this and we can assure residents that materials put out for recycling are being recycled.

We would like to thank those residents who have been affected for their continued patience whilst we work to resolve the current difficulties.  We remain confident that, once these hurdles have been overcome and with some possible service changes to ease the pressure, that the service we have been contracted to operate across South Hams and West Devon will deliver all of the benefits promised at the outset.

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