THOUSANDS of complaints have been made over the roll-out of a multi-million pound waste disposal scheme in Weymouth and Portland.

The distribution of new bins as part of the Dorset Waste Partnership Recycle for Dorset began last Monday.

But every day last week, 1,400 calls were made to its helpline reporting issues.

And borough councillors have been on the receiving end of the ‘backlash’ from residents – with one even labelling the scheme ‘not fit for purpose’.

The Echo has learned that the Dorset Waste Partnership had no say over the company responsible for the delivery of new bins.

It was done as part of DWP’s £8m contract with bin manufacturer, Craemer UK.

Craemer UK subcontracts the work to a delivery company.

For the first three phases of the roll-out elsewhere in the county, the subcontractor was TJK Distribution. But for the roll-out in Weymouth and Portland the subcontractor is CK-Services, a company based in Lincolnshire, at a cost of £71,000.

A DWP spokesman said: “The contract with Craemer for the Recycle for Dorset and garden waste service is worth just over £8m, paid for over 10 years.

“This includes supplying new wheelie bins for around 200,000 households in Dorset as well as the delivery of containers.

“The DWP aims to save £2m a year by the time the new service is fully rolled out next year. This is after the capital cost of new vehicles and containers.

“We have an ongoing contractual relationship with Craemer.

“However, the choice of delivery subcontractor is entirely their decision.”

The Echo has attempted to get in touch with CK-Services operations manager John Exley about the delivery issues. A councillor said DWP would be ‘letting us all down’ by handing the blame for delivery issues on a subcontractor it didn’t choose.

Cllr Ian Bruce said: “They are responsible for making sure the job is done. If a subcontractor doesn’t deliver as they should, DWP has to step in.”

An email from DWP seen by the Echo was sent to borough councillors last week as they have been ‘on the receiving end of residents’ frustrations’.

It says: ‘The first week of Tranche 4 of the Recycle for Dorset service has been arguably the most challenging yet in terms of scale and complexity.

“Many of the issues are not unique to this tranche but the level of response work has been particularly high for a variety of reasons.

“While the majority of the 48,000 households involved have started using the new service without problems, we have been responding to a significant number of issues around containers, collection points and residents adapting to the new way of collection.”

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is expected to pump £2.2m into the DWP for 2015/16.

But councillors are already calling for a review in December to ensure the borough is ‘getting what we paid for’.

At a meeting of the Scrutiny and Performance Committee on Tuesday night, Cllr Margaret Leicester said: “I’m getting complaints.

“I have a lady who asked for assisted collection.

“She passed all the criteria and got a letter, but so far it hasn’t been done properly.

“She phoned me up and said: ‘Am I going to have to call every week to get it collected?’

“We should make sure we are getting what we have paid for.”

Cllr Richard Kosier said the DWP is ‘well aware that it’s not going well’.

Cllr Gill Taylor said after an update in December, WPBC can ‘look at it further and see if we can do anything about it’.

Meanwhile, Cllr Bruce is calling for clearer information to be relayed to residents.

He said the new system is ‘unworkable’ and will see the borough recycle less, not more.

Cllr Bruce said: “We all know there will be teething problems when a major change takes place but it is essential the public are kept up to date and issues fully explained.

“However I am really concerned that after spending millions we will have system so complicated and unworkable that people will recycle less rather than more.”

THE scheme is ‘badly managed’ and ‘not fit for purpose’, a meeting heard.

At a county council cabinet, more members raised concerns about the roll-out in Weymouth and Portland – and they were also told that the county council’s share of DWP’s overspend is £814,000.

The Dorset Waste Partnership has a revenue budget of £30m for 2014/15.

But early predictions show a potential overspend of either £480,000 or £1.26million.

Cllr Robert Gould, cabinet member for corporate resources, said the overspend – down to staffing costs and a rise in waste tonnage – is ‘very serious and needs to be addressed’.

Of the roll-out in Weymouth and Portland, Cllr Peter Wharf said: “We are getting the backlash from something that is badly managed.

“It is not fit for purpose.”

‘Teething problems’

STEVE Burdis, director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, told the Echo: “The first week of the Recycle for Dorset service in Weymouth and Portland and part of West Dorset saw the majority of the 50,000 households affected receive their first collections as planned.

“However, there are a number of teething problems that we are working to resolve as quickly as we can.

“We understand this is frustrating for residents and thank them for their patience.

“We completed all scheduled bin deliveries the week before the start of the service.

“However, a number of missed and incorrect deliveries were identified.

“By Friday, we had delivered missing containers to more than 1,000 properties.

“As of Monday, there were 900 properties requiring a delivery.

“We are continuing to work through these as quickly as possible, prioritising residents who are missing their rubbish bin.

“It is quick and easy to report a problem online at “Our phone lines are currently very busy, with around 1,400 enquiries a day last week.

“If residents have reported a problem once they do not need to do so again.

“We are keeping councillors up to date with our progress and appreciate their role in supporting residents around this major change in service.”

‘Bingate’ confusing residents

RESIDENTS have taken to social media to air their frustrations at what some have dubbed ‘bingate’.

They claim there is ‘more rubbish flying about than before’ due to mix ups with bin deliveries and waste collections. Tim Griffiths, who lives in Wyke Regis, called it a ‘shambles’ after seeing rubbish ‘fly about in the road’.

He said food bins are not placed back on properties after waste collection and have been blowing down the road.

He also says many properties do not have storage space for all the bins and the 240-litre bins are being left in the road by contractors, which also results in those ‘rolling down the road’.

Hannah Barnwell, who lives on Portland, complained via the Dorset For You Facebook site.

She said her road ‘looks like a tip’ and that residents have been out catching rubbish after bins flew over in high winds.

She told the Echo: “Our recycling was collected a day late due to problems they had with vehicles. That’s fine, but due to our location (Westcliffe is very exposed) and the weather, the bins were being blown all over the estate.

“People had put them out but had to retrieve them and put them back in their gardens in case they caused accidents, injuries or damage to property.

“There is loads of litter everywhere now.

“I understand that breakdowns happen and the weather is no-one’s fault, however I was seeking some sort of clarification over who would be liable in the event of accident or injury caused by bins and their contents?”

She said common sense needs to be applied in allowing bin men to collect rubbish from yards rather than the kerbside.

On Tuesday, Carol Revill wrote to DWP: “When are you going to collect the recycling on Causeway, Radipole Village?

“Can’t leave my bins out on the road any longer – since last Thursday. Large one blew over in the strong winds last night – came out to recycling everywhere. Missed collection already reported by the way.”

As reported in the Echo, Sharon Tomlinson had threatened to start a petition after bins were not delivered in her road.

Ms Tomlison said she believes that finally receiving the bins was a direct result of contacting the media about her issues.

Your definitive Echo guide

  • 240-litre wheelie bin with green lid Mixed recycling – or if you have a green wheelie bin for rubbish, now use this for mixed recycling. Newspapers, magazines, shredded paper, cardboard, including corrugated, plastics, including bottles, pots, tubs and trays, tins and cans (aluminium and steel) and aerosols
  • 140-litre wheelie bin This bin is for non-recyclable rubbish such as animal litter, food pouches, nappies and sanitary items, cling film, plastic bags and broken crockery
  • Green box This should be used for recycling glass bottles and jars. Not for broken glass, lightbulbs, oven-proof glass and pyrex and sheet glass
  • 23-litre brown outdoor bin Food waste. Meat, fish, bones, fruits and vegetables, dairy, bread, pasta and rice, tea bags, coffee grounds and eggshells
  • Seven-litre kitchen caddy Food waste. As above. Residents can put food waste straight in to the 23-litre brown outdoor bin if they wish
  • Red bag Household batteries – AA, AAA, ‘button’ and rechargeable. Not for car batteries or mobile phones