Planned industrial action by Bexley refuse workers from Monday 12 July to Sunday 8 August will affect Waste collection services

We regret to inform you that the industrial action by some of the workers employed by Serco to collect refuse and recycling could be extended until Sunday 8 August. Waste and recycling collections will be affected.

We will update our website and social media throughout the strike. 

During this time you will be unable to report a missed collection.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused, but please continue to leave your bins out for collection as we will be trying to operate a limited service.

Industrial action update

Thursday 22 July

  • Fortnightly kerbside refuse collections (green bins) – all rounds completed and up-to-date.
  • Food waste (brown boxes) – all of last week’s collections should have now been completed, although we received reports yesterday that this is not the case. Serco will be revisiting some locations.
  • Weekly refuse collection round (bags) – behind schedule (70% complete) and we hope they will be completed on Friday.
  • Chargeable garden waste collections (brown bins) - no collections made on Thursday.
  • Recycling collections (blue and white-lidded bins) – no collections made on Thursday. Some bulk recycling collections from larger blocks of flats, schools and commercial customers were completed.
  • Recycling box rounds (weekly) should be completed for all materials by Friday evening.
  • Bulk refuse collections from flats, schools and commercial customers – 2 out of 3 rounds completed and up-to-date. The round covering the south of the borough is running behind schedule due to staff sickness but should be completed by the last thing on Friday.
  • Skips, clinical waste and bulky waste collections - all completed and up-to-date.
  • Most street cleansing teams have been working apart from those that clean residential streets. Extra resources were deployed on cleaning mini-recycling sites and fly-tipping.

Statement from Serco, Friday 23 July

Graeme Waugh, Serco's Senior Contract Manager said:

It is always our intention to work in partnership with trade unions so we are disappointed the decision to take further strike action has been made while conciliation discussions are ongoing and would urge Unite to reconsider this action.

We have prioritised refuse and food waste collections and offer our apologies to any residents whose collections have been missed because of this strike action. Our frontline teams are working exceptionally hard, often beyond their contracted hours, to minimise disruptions to residents and I would like to personally thank each of them for their continued help and support.

Unite has submitted a 10% pay claim in Bexley for 2021 which we believe is out of sync with the current environment. We believe the offer we have made, in the context of pay freezes across the public sector and the current economic climate, is a fair and reasonable offer.

There is a small group of employees - no more than 12 - who have raised individual issues about their pay. We have written to each of them offering our formal apology and will pay them any money they are owed in the next payroll run.

With regard to the claim we are operating zero hours contracts, we would like to make it clear that Serco do not employ any staff on zero hours contracts in Bexley."

Strike action FAQ

Why is the strike taking place?

Employees from our waste contractor Serco are taking strike action for improved terms and conditions. The action is being led by Unite.

Should I still put my bins out for collection?

We are prioritising refuse (green bin) and food waste collections. However, please make sure you leave all your bins out overnight. We need to be prepared for the strike to be called off at short notice. If that is the case, then by leaving all the bins out we are prepared for them to be collected.

Collections will be taking place earlier than 6am and later into the evening

What should I do with excess waste/recycling?

If your bins are full, please keep excess waste/recycling inside your property and not next to your bin.

You can also take excess waste to one of our Reuse and Recycling Centres that are open. Additional paper/cardboard, glass bottles and jars can be taken to local recycling banks. 

Find your local recycling bank

What should I do if the recycling banks are full?

If the recycling banks are full, please take your recycling home with you or to the reuse and recycling centres.

Any materials placed around the bins will be treated as fly-tipping and you may face a fine.

The Foots Cray reuse and recycling centre is usually closed on Wednesdays. During the strike period, the Foots Cray centre will be open:

  • Wednesday 21 July
  • Wednesday 28 July
  • Wedneday 4 August

What time are the reuse and recycling centres open?

The Borough’s reuse and recycling centres at Thames Road Crayford and Foots Cray will be open from 7:30am to 4pm Monday to Sunday, for residents who wish to dispose of their own rubbish/recycling.

The centres are likely to be busier then usual during this period and you may have to queue upon arrival.

During the strike period, the Foots Cray centre will be open to the public on:

  • Wednesday 21 July
  • Wednesday 28 July
  • Wednesday 4 August

The additional opening days will help those residents dispose of their waste and recycling if they are unable to store this waste at home.

A traffic control system will operate based on odd and even number plates. Car plates with odd numbers can use the sites on odd dates and even numbers on even dates.

Visit our Reuse and recycling locations page for more details.

Can I report a missed bin?

Please do not report your bin collection as missed online or by phone while services are disrupted by this action.

During the strike period, you will be unable to log a missed bin either online or by telephone as this service will be suspended until further notice.

Can I complain?

We realise how disruptive this will be on waste collection services throughout the Borough and the impact on residents.

Our in-house teams are working hard to coordinate the running of the limited service, so please bear with us at this critical time.

We will continue to update the website so please check there for the latest information.

Can I get a refund on my Council Tax?

The Council Tax charge includes services provided by the Council and the Greater London Authority. Council Tax is a general tax and not linked to the provision of any particular service, it does not have right for refunds on the grounds of dissatisfaction with any service provided. It is worth pointing out that the Council Tax covers a whole range of services and the cost of provision of recycling and waste collection services is a very small proportion at around £1.50 per week.

Can I get a refund for missed garden waste collection?

We will be extending garden waste contracts when a collection has been missed due to strike action.

The waste team will be in contact with garden waste contract holders once the strike is over.

There is no right to a refund because of industrial action.

Can I visit the reuse and recycling centres in a van?

Residents and businesses using a van can take excess waste and recycling (subject to conditions) to the Thames Road Waste Transfer Station in Crayford.

How can I find more information?

We will be providing regular updates about the strike action on our website and via our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter as well as in our regular e-newsletters.

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