Update on industrial action for waste collection services in the Allerdale area

Allerdale waste staff and waste truck

Following the recent announcement of the intention to hold strike action from UNITE and GMB Trade Unions in relation to the waste and recycling collection service provided by Allerdale Waste Services, Cumberland Council can now provide details of what residents and businesses should do in relation to the collection of their waste and recycling over the coming weeks.

The first two days of strike action will be Thursday 27 and Friday 28 April, following which notifications of strikes have also been received for next week and the week after. Due to the Bank Holidays, there will be no collections on Monday 1 May 2023 and collections throughout the week will take place one day later than normal. For example, bins normally collected on Monday will be collected on Tuesday and collections due for Friday will take place on Saturday.

Residents and businesses should continue to present their domestic waste collections and the team will aim to collect as much waste as they are able to. If they are not able to collect a domestic bin on the scheduled day of collection, please take it back in, and the team will prioritise these collections the following time. The service will be affected in the same way the following week due to the bank holiday on 8 May with collections being one day later. 

Residents should not present their recycling, paper and card and garden waste as during the industrial action this service is suspended to prioritise collecting domestic and trade waste. The various Bring Sites in the area will be available for residents to recycle glass, cans and plastics as well as paper and card. These sites will be serviced more regularly throughout this period of industrial action. Details of sites can be found on the Cumberland Council website.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) are also available for the disposal of waste and recyclables, including green waste. Site locations and opening times can also be found on the Cumberland Council website.

A permit is required if people are visiting the HWRC sites in a van, pickup, flatbed, or tow a twin-axle trailer up to three metres long. Details can be found on the Cumberland Council website.

Residents are asked to not take wheelie bins to their local HWRC. These should only be used for household waste to be collected from the kerbside. Taking wheelie bins to a HWRC to be emptied can pose a health and safety risk.

Charles Holmes, Managing Director of Allerdale Waste Services said: “It is disappointing that the Unions have taken this step to call a strike. The strikes are in the context of the workforce having been awarded a 10.1% pay rise on 1 April this year. This equates to drivers being paid an annual salary of £27,508 and the loaders £22,165. The Union’s request of a 32.6% (inclusive of the 10.1%) increase for drivers and 19.2% for loaders is completely unaffordable and is not able to be supported by the company.

“We have been in dialogue with Union representatives last week and this week.  We have requested more time to be able to resolve the matter and a request for the strikes to be called off, which they have not accepted. We therefore have no option but to put forward contingency plans to try and minimise the impact on residents and businesses in the area as best as we can, however, we ask that people are patient with us at this difficult time.”

Allerdale Waste Services is a wholly owned trading company of Cumberland Council (formerly Allerdale Borough Council) and provide waste collection services for the authority. Their workforce is therefore directly employed by Allerdale Waste Services. Please note that this industrial action does not affect waste services in the Carlisle and Copeland areas.