Kier answers criticism about performance

Faced with ongoing complaints about uncollected rubbish the council’s contractor admits the service has not been up to scratch but claims improvement is on the way.

Meanwhile some of their customers ask if Kier will ever be capable of delivering the service it promised when competing for the council contract for Rother, with its services now stretched over a wide area across much of East Sussex.

There have been suggestions from residents that Kier has not enough resources to cope - with relief teams being brought in to help - and not enough specific glass-recycling vehicles, so that recycling is ‘contaminated’. There’s also talk of dissatisfied employees from teams which have been split up and don’t yet know their new rounds.

Just this week local resident Marcus Klugman of Bodiam Avenue told the Observer it’s nearly four weeks since his last collection and claimed “geographically disadvantaged bin men” were missing his street out.

And Gillian Callister of The Briary commented of Kier ; “Apologising isn’t good enough. They are not up to the job.”

Kier say changes to the system were made to enable householders to recycle more waste but this lead to restructuring rounds and teams causing collections to be missed.

A spokesman said: “In 2012 Kier was awarded the contract to deliver waste and recycling services to the East Sussex Joint Waste Partnership, which covers Eastbourne, Wealden, Hastings and Rother. As part of delivering the new contract we have changed the box system for residents in three of those locations to a bin and box system to triple the amount of waste that they can recycle. But we have had to restructure rounds and teams in some locations to deliver this new service and this has caused problems with missed collections in Wealden and most recently in Rother.

“Operations in Wealden are now working well, and residents have told us that the service is now better than ever, which is excellent news. But we appreciate how frustrating missed collections are during this transition process and that this is an issue for residents in our latest roll-out location, Rother. Our teams are working hard to perfect the new routes and we are bringing in additional resources to support in areas where we have had specific problems. “We did have to make some changes to the structure of the vehicle runs in the early stages to accommodate new waste volumes, but we don’t have an issue with not having enough vehicles. We are confident that we can resolve problems in Rother as we did in Wealden to ensure residents get the efficient service that they expect and deserve.”