Glasgow City Council Bin Collection Calendar 2024 September

Glasgow bin chaos leaves tenement recycling marooned

One councillor hit out at the disparity. 

Glasgow bin collection  as council changes dates over
Glasgow bin collection as council changes dates over

Jon Molyneux, the co-leader of the Scottish Green group on the council, told The Herald on Sunday: “I live in a house in G44, my blue bin will have been uplifted five times in the period of time that some of my constituents in G41 haven’t had that service.”

READ MORE: Brown bins Glasgow: £50 charge for garden waste introduced

Council Refuse Collection - The Strathbungo Society
Council Refuse Collection – The Strathbungo Society

The council say there has been a backlog in collections in part because of public holidays over the Christmas and New Year period but mostly because of “excessive” staff sickness.

With the local authority expecting to make cuts of £120m over the next three years, unions have expressed fears that the situation may only get worse.

Council Refuse Collection - The Strathbungo Society
Council Refuse Collection – The Strathbungo Society

“We’re going to find ourselves in an even bigger crisis,” Chris Mitchell from the GMB said.

“We take pride in our job, but it’s basically a complaints service now,” he added.

While the local authority said there were operational reasons for prioritising kerbside collections, given the ease of collecting the bins, and the dangers of stray bins being buffeted by strong winds, the trade union official suggested the council’s decision had more to do with perception.

He told The Herald on Sunday: “How the management perceive it is you can see a bin that’s on the street pretty clearly. You can hide a bin in a backcourt.

“That’s totally unacceptable because regardless of where you are in Glasgow, a flatted property or a back or front door, you should still get the same service.

“We’re trying to promote recycling as much as we can, but how can you promote recycling when you’re not giving somebody a service?

“And it’s our members that are having to face the public and deal with the backlash because they’re the first person the public sees when eventually they get to round collecting the bins.

“It’s having a detrimental effect on my members. They’re there to empty the bins and that’s it.”

READ MORE: Glasgow street bin hub pilot to be extended with backcourts replaced

Councillor Molyneux said the plans being developed by the council for different approaches to collecting from tenements, like “bin hubs” on the pavement were working well.

He warned that the poor service from the council was damaging a lot of goodwill from people who live in tenements “because they’ve had such a terrible service for so long. And when things like this happen, they are put to the back of the queue.”

He added: “Around 70% of people in Glasgow live in flats and tenements so, you know, it’s all well and good to have a service that works very well for 30% of your residents.

“But if it doesn’t work well for the other 70% and you don’t have the trust of those 70% to kind of buy into the new approaches you want to do, I think you’re just making your own job harder.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “There have been delays to household bin collections across the city following the festive holidays but the service has almost returned fully to normal.

“We understand the frustration caused by the delays to collections, including for recycling bins, and we are very sorry for any inconvenience that has been caused to residents

“All available resources have deployed across the city as effectively as possible to ensure the collection schedule has been restored in full as soon as possible.

“Annual leave and high levels of sickness among our teams along with weather events such as flooding and snow have all added to the disruption to collections.

“To support the effort to clear the build-up of waste, staff have been offered overtime, colleagues from other parts of the service have been redeployed temporarily and, where appropriate, agency staff brought in.

“Although there have been delays in collections, residents should be assured that recycling bins for all property types have been emptied and any contaminating waste removed and disposed of separately.

“The current on-street bin hub pilot, which takes an expanded range of recyclable materials, is showing signs it can make a significant difference to recycling for people living  in flats

“This pilot will be extended in size with 75 new hubs recently purchased and we are looking at where these hubs can be installed.

“The expanded range of materials collected through the bin hub pilot will soon be replicated for almost 120,000 homes across Glasgow as we roll out a new recycling service for kerbside collections.

“As part of  a £21m funding package from the Scottish Government, we are also investing in a modern, state-of-the-art material reclaim facility that will help ensure as much material as possible is properly processed as recycling.”