Haringey and Camden waste collection delays due to Covid staffing issues

Haringey civic centre, the base for Haringey Council

Haringey Council has said that residents are still able to access key services - Credit: Ken Mears

Haringey Council says the situation is “manageable” as staffing issues due to Covid-19 affect a number of services, while the HGV driver shortage has also contributed to delays in waste collection. 

The Highgate, Alexandra Park and Coombes Croft libraries have experienced closures, and the Marcus Garvey customer service centre has also been shut. It is expected to reopen on Monday, January 10. 

A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “Covid-19 has had a major impact on councils and other organisations across the country, including staff shortages.  

“A couple of our libraries and the customer service centre at Marcus Garvey have had to close, but residents have been able to visit others within the borough.  

“Although we have a few services running at reduced capacity, the situation remains manageable and our residents are able to access key services.” 

The council said the combined impact of Covid and the HGV driver shortage has also led to delays in waste collection. 

“A lot of work has gone into ensuring we continue with a full waste collection and street cleansing service, unlike many other councils who have been forced to suspend services entirely," the spokesperson said.  

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“We continue to assess the situation daily, and will prioritise key services if the situation changes.” 

A spokesperson for Veolia, which manages both Haringey's and Camden's waste collection services, said: "We are currently maintaining all our services across Haringey despite a small number of staff isolating as a result of Covid-19.

"Our teams are working hard to adhere to established protocols to ensure that our employees and the public are as safe as possible while the pandemic continues." 

Camden Council confirmed there have been delays to its own waste collection services. 

A spokesperson said: “Collection services have been operating and where staff absences due to Covid have caused delays the council has ensured collections are carried out within 24 hours of their scheduled collection. 

“We are monitoring absences and delivery of services on a daily basis and prioritising general waste and food waste collections as per government guidance.” 

A Veolia spokesperson added: "Our staff are currently working hard to maintain all our services across our Camden-based operations despite a small number of staff isolating as a result of Covid-19.

"If recycling and waste collections are delayed we follow all of our established protocols and we expect to collect these within 24hrs."

Barnet Council meanwhile reported no delays in waste collection.  

“Barnet covered all operational rounds over the festive period with no alterations or delays to scheduled collections and we are still operating at a full capacity,” a spokesperson said.

Camden and Haringey Councils both said that due to the uncertainty of Covid and ongoing issues such as the HGV driver shortage, they cannot anticipate how much longer any delays may last. 

A Camden spokesperson said: “Clearly, we remain in an uncertain time with a high number of daily Covid-19 cases being reported and so would not like to speculate on any future service impacts.”