A SLEW of missed bin collections are down to staff shortages and teething problems with a £4 million fleet of new bin collections.

Residents across Colchester have reported portions of their rubbish being left at the kerbside despite it being left out on the correct day - including plastics, cardboard, black sacks and garden and food waste.

Missed collections have generally been collected on the next day.

Concerned councillors have been briefed and been told a range of issues including staff sickness, breakdowns and issues with bedding in a new collection of vehicles had coincided with a new management team and high levels of garden waste creating a perfect storm of problems.

A recruitment drive has now been launched to find more permanent members of staff and a review of which agencies the council uses to find temporary cover has also been undertaken.

Colchester Council’s waste boss Martin Goss (Lib Dem) said the council was hopeful the issues would be resolved over the coming weeks

He said: “A perfect storm is probably a good way to put it.

“But over the last few days of last week we have had full crews out.

“There have had to be some changes to the hydraulics of the vehicles so they can crush the garden waste and rubbish effectively.

“All the work has been done under warranty for free.”

In April, the council unveiled plans to bring in 26 new state-of-the-art refuse collections vehicles over the next two years with more than half of them already on the road.

Mr Goss said it was completely untrue to suggest the new vehicles were any smaller than the last ones.

“That is completely preposterous,” he said.

“It would make absolutely no sense for us to do that.

“I honestly do not know how people could even think that was happening.

“It is an utter waste of my time and of officers’ time to even suggest it.

“Some of the people working on the ground had chance to test the new vehicles before the contract was signed and we took their views into account.

“It is ridiculous to even suggest it.”