A COWDENBEATH councillor is calling for a review of refuse collection services stating that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed underlying weaknesses in the service that is resulting in too many occurrences of bins not being emptied and being left on the streets.

Cllr Alex Campbell has written to the council's chief executive Steve Grimmond following a week where bins were left on the pavements unemptied due to staff shortages in the refuse collection service.

The Labour councillor told Mr Grimmond: “I understand the pressures that Covid has brought immense pressure on all frontline public services and refuse is no different, however, there would seem to be major weaknesses in the service that must be addressed.

"The service has been cut so much that staff tell me they were struggling to cope under normal circumstances and a vehicle breakdown or any kind of sickness results in bins not being collected.

"We have also seen a large expansion of new houses being built across the region and I am not sure staffing and equipment levels have kept up with the growing demand.

"I therefore believe we need to undertake an immediate review of the pressures on these services with a view to ensuring that there is enough staff and equipment to do the job."

Councillor Campbell said that refuse collection is a basic responsibility of councils and it is therefore crucial that Fife Council is able to meet their statutory responsibility to lift the bins.

Service manager Sandy Anderson confirmed to the Times that the council's bin collection service has been disrupted this week due to staff shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are constantly monitoring our staffing levels during the pandemic and, when we need to, we will prioritise services to cause as little disruption to Fifers as possible.

"Collections of brown bins were affected in West Fife last week and we have worked over the weekend to try and catch up those bins that were missed.

"We are now advising customers to bring their bins back in from the kerbside and we will service those bins on the next collection date.

"We will keep customers updated on the service disruption page on www.fife.gov.uk and our social media channels. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank customers for their patience."