It is vital for us to protect the core waste services in Elmbridge, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to suspend garden waste services.
There is a national shortage of HGV drivers as you will have seen widely reported across the media. Facing this challenge, Joint Waste Solutions (JWS), who manage waste and recycling services for us, and our contractor Amey have implemented the following to help the current situation:
Financial incentives: drivers are being incentivised with recruitment and retention bonuses and employees are being offered referral fees for recommending friends and family for employment.
Recruiting new drivers: If you have a HGV licence or you are interested in switching jobs and getting your HGV licence, please contact our contactor Amey.
Retraining current crew: Non driving crew are being enrolled in HGV training; this does take a few months though.
Agency drivers: Amey have approached numerous recruitment agencies looking for drivers to work for us but due to the high demand, they will accept the more lucrative offers.
Other contractors: We have approached other contractors with a view to sub-contracting in order to fulfil our garden waste obligations but the whole sector is being impacted by the driver shortage.
Apprenticeships: Government has revised the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship standard, with funding of £7,000 available per apprentice with a £3,000 grant to the employer for every apprentice employed on qualification. Amey will of course take advantage of this but as you expect training takes time, so this is a longer-term remedy.
Charity work programme: For those seeking work in the community, we have approached charities offering training and driver roles, this work is ongoing.
Recruitment promotion: we are promoting the driving roles far and wide. If you know anyone interested in changing career, please get in touch.
Government lobbying: together with industry bodies across the country, we are lobbying the Government to take immediate and urgent action before there are more serious implications caused by fewer drivers.
Increasing the opening times at local tips: working with our partners at Surrey County Council we will monitor tip queuing times and consider increasing opening hours if customer flow warrants.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and we will continue to update this page with measures we are taking to resolve the situation. You could also take a look at our FAQs and if you have a suggestion, please get in touch.