THOUSANDS of residents have had bin collections missed in just three days as refuse problems in the borough continue to bite.

It is now more than four weeks since Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council first issued an apology on its Facebook page for issues its contractor Veolia was having over refuse and recycling collections.

But still, households across the borough are having their waste and recycling bins not collected on days they are scheduled to be.

On Friday last week, according to the council’s website, a total of 248 roads, lanes and closes had their recycling collections missed with 122 areas not having their refuse bins collected, with the areas to be targeted on Monday.

On Monday, the figures were 192 areas with recycling bins not picked up while there were 59 places where refuse bins had been left unemptied while on Tuesday the figures were 150 and 73 respectively.

Cabinet member for the environment and regulatory services, Councillor Hayley Eachus, said: “We continue to experience operational issues with bin collections in some areas of the borough. The level of service provided by our contractor Veolia has fallen below the expectations of the council and its residents and it has been made clear to Veolia that this fall off in performance is unacceptable.

“Every week we continue to collect approximately 155,000 grey and green bins, garden waste bags and glass recycling boxes and bins, however some residents are experiencing delays in these collections. Of those bins, bags and boxes not collected on their scheduled day most are being collected within 24 hours. We apologise for this inconvenience and would like reassure residents we are working with Veolia to address these issues and notices requiring improvement have been served.

“The issues have focused around vehicle breakdowns and staff shortages, a problem being experienced in other areas, and Veolia is working hard to resolve these. Additional vehicles have been brought in to support the service and the company is working with agencies to recruit to the vacancies. Existing staff are working additional hours, including Saturdays, to catch up on collections.

“If bins, boxes or bags are not collected on their scheduled day we ask residents to leave them out and check our website for confirmation.

“This is where we are listing incomplete rounds and clarifying estimated collection dates, with an aim to provide a full update for the day by 9pm. If a street is not listed or residents cannot access the website we ask them to call the Customer Contact Centre on 01256 844844.

“The new joint waste contract will start on October 1 and Veolia and our new contractor Serco are working together to ensure a smooth transition.

“Once again we apologise for the inconvenience caused to those residents affected and we will continue to seek to have measures implemented that will return the service to normal as soon as possible.”

South View resident Pauline Jones said: “I have many friends in Chineham also who have had terrible service and my parents live in Oakley who have also had terrible service. I don’t see how it’s got to this position. Surely the contractor is not fulfilling its contract obligations therefore defaulting on their key performance indicators, therefore they should be paying money back to the council. It’s just the uncertainly of having to leave the bins out, mine used to be nice and clean but being left out on the street over-night people throw all sorts of stuff in there and now it absolutely stinks.”

Hatch Warren resident Spencer Cleary added: “I was told that Veolia are having a lot of mechanical breakdowns and are not buying any new vehicles. Well this is understandable that they wouldn’t buy new vehicles if they have lost the contract, but why is it that all of a sudden on losing the renewal of the contract, they are having more breakdowns than ever before? when they were secure in their contract.”