Where to get rid of your rubbish during Surrey bin strikes

Refuse workers employed by Amey in parts of Surrey began a three-week walkout on Monday (August 1). Employees who are members of the GMB union have staged the 20-day strike in a dispute over pay. The strike will affect bin collections for taxpayers in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath, with Amey saying rubbish will be picked up as usual in Mole Valley and Woking. Amey's revised pay offer on July 27 was accepted by Unite members, but was thrown out by the GMB. Amey said in a statement on Friday (July 29): "We made a revised pay offer on July 27 to waste collection workers in the Mole Valley, Elmbridge, Woking and Surrey Heath depots which was shared with both the GMB and Unite unions.

Unite recommended that all their members accept this revised pay offer and have since confirmed that all their members have accepted it. We are disappointed to learn today (Friday 29) that the GMB have rejected it. "If strike action takes place in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath from Monday August 1 we are confident that we can minimise impact on local communities wherever possible and will continue to seek engagement with the GMB to find a resolution. Collections will be taking place as normal in Mole Valley and Woking.

READ MORE: Warning August could be 'the smelliest' for years for some Surrey residents "We strongly refute all allegations made by the GMB that we have behaved in any way improperly during these negotiations. Supporting the wellbeing of our employees is always a priority for us."

How long will the bin strike last?

The strike will last from August 1 to August 19, with the GMB warning that members are looking at announcing further dates.

Paul Grafton, GMB regional officer, said last month: "We have continually pushed Amey since April over pay as our members feel they are woefully underpaid and completely under-valued. "Our members are at least GBP3 per hour underpaid, plus they don't have the same levels of sick pay or pension benefits compared to those who are still working under local authority control elsewhere. The waste industry has become a race to the bottom when it comes to terms and conditions of employment as they attempt to use other waste contractors as comparators to drive wages down, something that has been happening for some time now within the entire industry.

"Residents of Surrey Heath and Elmbridge Borough Councils can now look forward to what is looking likely to be the hottest and now probably the smelliest August for many years. Anyone who lives locally who is not thrilled by the prospect of rubbish piling up in their streets and gardens should contact their local councillors to encourage them to lobby their waste contractor Amey to get back around the negotiating table."

Should I still leave my bin out and where can I get rid of my rubbish?

Joint Waste Solutions manage collections in the affected areas and said people should still leave their bin out. They said: "If it is not emptied by 4pm please report it as a missed collection and leave the bin out." So what should you do if you've got an overflowing bin?

Surrey county council sent out a tweet to its followers on Monday (August 1) to let people know where they can dispose of their rubbish and stop their bins from overflowing. "Live in #Elmbridge or #SurreyHeath and will be affected by the strikes? If you're short of space our community recycling centres can accept, black bin waste, garden waste as well as paper and card." There are 15 recycling centres across the county:

  • Bagshot
  • Camberley
  • Caterham
  • Cranleigh
  • Dorking
  • Earlswood
  • Epsom
  • Farnham
  • Guildford
  • Leatherhead
  • Lyne
  • Shepperton
  • Warlingham
  • Witley
  • Woking

The nearest recycling centre for those living in Elmbridge is an 18-minute drive to Shepperton.

It is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm; on Saturday from 8am to 4pm; and on Sunday from 9am to 4pm.

It is located in Charlton Lane, Shepperton, Surrey, TW17 8QA.

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