Doncaster’s bin collection firm is being asked to pay compensation over collection failures during the Christmas holidays.
A review has been launched into the Christmas waste collection fiasco that left hundreds of Doncaster residents waiting three weeks to have their bins emptied.
Mayor Ros Jones (pictured) announced at a full meeting of Doncaster Council that a review was already under way to ensure the issue would never happen again.
Suez, formerly Sita UK, the organisation which carries out the town’s bin collection, claimed a high number of staff off sick had been a factor.
Ms Jones told the meeting: “This was simply unacceptable and I am sorry that residents were let down – our contractors let us down.
“This did not happen due to any changes in the collection system scheduling but sickness of 28 members of staff that were replaced by inexperienced agency staff filling in for experienced staff members.
“I am very unhappy and share the frustration, anger and disappointment of residents. I am unhappy residents bore the brunt of our contractors’ failings.”
The comments came in response to a question from Coun Nick Allen asking about the reasons for the failings.
Ms Jones said Doncaster Council had requested Suez make compensation payments over the above contractual costs to help pay for street cleaning costs incurred as a result of the failings.
She added: “The contractors let us down fair and square, it is unacceptable.”
Ms Jones said the amount of rubbish over the Christmas period in Doncaster had been above the average for that time of year.
Hundreds of residents were caught up in the bin misery over Christmas with many reporting rubbish blowing out of recycling boxes and littering the streets, leaving neighbourhoods untidy and scattered with cans, bottles and paper.
Speaking just after Christmas, one woman, who lives on Melville Avenue, Balby, said: “Christmas comes every single year and they know everyone is going to have double, if not triple, the amount of rubbish. So, why does this happen? ”
A spokesman for Suez said at the time: “Unfortunately, due to factors beyond our control, mainly relating to staff sickness or absence, we have not been able to mobilise some of the additional crews and the result is that some residents will have experienced delays to their planned collections, for which we apologise.”