10 Aug Senior Harlow councillors meet with waste contractor bosses to discuss bin collections
This week (9 August 2021), the Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Andrew Johnson, and Councillor Alastair Gunn, Portfolio Holder for Environment, met with senior Veolia bosses to express their dissatisfaction and concerns with the current state of the bin collection service in Harlow.
The meeting, held at the Harlow Civic Centre, included Pascal Hauret, Managing Director of Veolia’s UK municipal waste division, as well as Veolia’s Regional Manager for the East of England and also the Harlow Contract Manager.
Councillor Johnson and Councillor Gunn expressed the anger felt by residents in the town after four months of disruption to bin collections and the general reliability of the service before the recent disruption. The meeting discussed the issues experienced by Harlow residents, Veolia’s plans for bringing the service back to normal levels, the position with national HGV driver shortages and Veolia’s plans to tackle this.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “I am sorry to residents for the current disruption being experienced with bin collections and we continue to make it clear to Veolia that the situation is not acceptable. As part of this, we met with the senior bosses of Veolia to express ours and residents grave concerns at the ongoing problems with the bin situation in Harlow. I am grateful that Veolia came to Harlow in person to discuss this with us, but I have made it clear that the current situation cannot continue. This council will not sit by whilst bins remain uncollected on the streets of Harlow. Today I have received an assurance from Veolia that the service will be restored to normal levels by the end of this week and we will continue to hold Veolia to account for their service delivery in the town.”
Councillor Alastair Gunn, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “Sorting out the problems with Veolia has been top of my list of priorities since taking on this role in May. It is a source of huge frustration that three months on, Veolia continue to fail to deliver the improvements that we have asked of them and that Harlow residents have every right to expect. It was helpful to discuss with Veolia’s Managing Director face-to-face the challenges they have, but at this point Veolia need to find a way to urgently deliver and sustain real improvements to the service they provide.”