HGV driver shortage blamed by Thanet council for suspension of garden waste collections

Garden waste collections

Garden waste collection have been suspended for two weeks because there is a shortage of HGV drivers, says Thanet council.

Some 12,500 people use the service and are being informed via email. Thanet council says next year’s fee will be adjusted “to reflect the break in the service.”

A council spokesperson said: “Thanet District Council has suspended Garden Waste Collections from Monday 1 August. This is expected to be for a period of two weeks, which means customers will only experience a single missed collection, as the rounds are carried out on a fortnightly basis.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the council has worked incredibly hard to manage its resources during ongoing national HGV driver shortages, without affecting scheduled waste collections. This suspension is a last resort and is necessary to allow the council to prioritise other statutory waste services such as household waste collection and recycling.

“The majority of our 12,500 customers will be informed directly by email. We will also share the message on our social media channels and we will be updating our online waste portal and website to reflect this.

“Next year’s subscription fee will be adjusted to reflect the break in service.

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and thank them for bearing with us at this time.”

The service costs £55 per year for garden waste collections plus a one-off charge of £36 per bin. Collections are fortnightly.


  1. What a load of bull it’s away of TDC to save money, people buy a compost bin and turn your waste into something good to go back onto the garden and it’s a one off cost for the bin .

    • A load of bull.. despite it being well known that there is a shortage of HGV drivers.

      And even IF it was about money.. maybe because they don’t have enough resources after 12 years of austerity and central government grant cut of 40%!

  2. Better jobs, better working conditions, better pay elsewhere.

    It’s not rocket science why TDC are short of drivers

    • Bill

      Is it ?

      Or is it down to poor wages, poor working conditions, abuse from the public etc.

      The question is why have the drivers left ?

    • Sorry Bill what a load of sh!t just like this story. Fact of the matter is Brexit cannot be blamed for tdc mistreating there staff. Most drivers are off sick with stress or have been suspended at the pettiest of things. Poor management throughout is to blame ad well as poor wages.

      • Hi Ian, the story is reporting that the service is postponed, fact, and TDC has said it is because of a HGV driver shortage, fact. It may well be that drivers are off with stress and I will happily speak to any drivers that want to come forward and will look at any evidence presented for the absence rate. However, I think your anger is better directed at those responsible for managing the service if there is a problem there rather than getting irate at the news site for a report telling you about the postponement and what TDC has said about it.

        • Think you might find TDC dont employ any HGV drivers full stop.

          TDC use agency drivers.

          Perhaps if TDC employed drivers on good terms and conditions they wouldn’t need agency drivers who dont want to go to TDC !

          • Yes, agency working is an issue and I know many of those working that way get a call at 5am to let them know if they are working that day which seems very stressful to me.

  3. TDC simply cannot discount a potential future service charge for something that is happening during this subscription period.

    What about people who won’t subscribe next year ? I’ll have a refund this year thanks and I don’t really care how much trouble it causes them. Not my problem.

  4. I subscribe to this service and my bin is mostly empty these months as my rose pruning period has ended, but there has been missed collections at earlier (more crucial) times.

    It is indeed regrettable, but the physical effort of bin emptying and lorry driving isn’t for the weaker, less tolerant generations of today; if the work is too hard, or has too many obstacles to entry, they simply won’t bother. Sign of the times I suppose.

    Composting of certain types of greenery takes quite a long time e.g. rose canes, and can build up quicker than can be distributed on a small plot: enter collections.

    The real problem is that the lorries often visit long streets where there may only be one subscriber.

    • It is the “weaker, less tolerant generations” who troll out this drivel.

      There is a very simple reason why people don’t want to do hard work for low wages.

      It is because they spend a high proportion of that paltry income on paying off boomer mortgages and fat corporates for energy.

      And why should they!

      Get some perspective of 2022 and you may understand peoples motivations.

  5. I would love to have green waste collected but it is too expensive now. The rates we pay are enough to bare.

  6. The reason TDC is short of HGV drivers is because they pay abysmally low wages. A new set of managers in the waste dept. are very strict with discipline, and have fired nearly all full time driver’s for minor
    misdemeanours. The full-time staff are then replaced with agency worker’s. Unfortunately the agency can’t attract enough drivers to TDC because of the low wages.
    TDC are a terrible employer, end of story.

  7. Arthur Ittis makes a good point about some garden waste being too coarse to compost down easily in the garden. Tough hedge cuttings, cabbage stalks etc take forever and clog the bin. It’s a good service and the final result can be used as a soil improver.
    I assume that HGV drivers get a better rate by working for haulage firms travelling long distances. So few would want to work for TDC or ,even worse, sub-contractors working for TDC.
    We have spent decades voting for governments who promise to “cut taxes,” or “reduce the rates/Community charge,” and who point fingers of blame at other Parties that aren’t quick enough to promise the same.
    This is the result. Low wages all round. People working longer hours to make ends meet. And a shortage of vital staff in many public and private workplaces as they can always get better wages somewhere else.
    We have had a “race to the bottom” for wages and conditions of service. I just hope that we have genuinely reached the very bottom and that things will improve soon.
    Unfortunately, the two candidates for the Prime Minister’s job are currently outbidding each other over which one of them can…you guessed it… “cut taxes” and “reduce the Community charge”!

  8. Thanks Brexit no eu workers anymore thats why crops are being ploughed in pigs being culled shortage carers and medical staff and so it goes on. We have also got to pay them billions that could have been used in this country. Taken in by liar johnson.

  9. 375000 HGV drivers left the U.K. in 2017 147000 in 2018 latest figures to return to their homes in the EU “ shortage of HGV drivers “ I say again thanks to Brexit. Thanks to the lies of the likes of Farage and and other stupid individuals.

  10. We have not had a garden waste service for over 6 weeks so a suspension is irrelevant. We have NO service that we have paid for. I want a refund now as I might not bother next year as now I have a car it is cheaper to go to Manston Road KCC site. Reliance on agency staff is so backward thinking these days. Get a grip is all I can say to Thanet awful Council. I have sent an email venting my displeasure as they probably don’t read these comments as mostly I don’t.

  11. Nothing to do with Brexit. Everything to do with lousy wages and grossly bad, managers. Try doubling staff wages and see how quickly you can fill the vacancies. Majority of councils collect garden waste for free. Before moving to Thanet, I worked in Hackney and lived in Islington. Neither inner city council charged for garden, waste collections – all part of recycling. Remember this scandal when you vote next year!

  12. The day before yesterday I reported to TDC Waste (tel: 01843 577115) that someone had Fly Tipped 5 black bags of what looked like garden waste next to the school wall, in Chatham Place, at the junction with Boundary Road. Will check later if they are still there!

  13. It’s everything to do with Brexit. 000,s left the country. That created a shortage. Big corporates such as Tesco etc had to up their wages. That attracted drivers from the low wage end of the market such as councils. You can deny it all you want. And it’s not just have drivers, restaurants and hospitality have, for instance, been hit badly and probably most famously airports. Not exactly the oven ready deal we were promised. And the worse is yet to come

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