Industrial Action Frequently Asked Questions

Our waste contractor, Veolia, has informed us that there will be industrial action (a strike) in September. This is due to a dispute with its staff who are members of the GMB trade union.

Our waste contractor, Veolia, has informed us that industrial action (a strike) will take place in September due to a dispute with its staff who are members of the GMB and Unison trade unions.

The strike will take place from Monday 4 September to Friday 8 September inclusive and it will affect the council’s waste collection services.

We are not involved in the negotiations between Veolia and Idverde and their employees, but we continue to liaise with our contractors to support them in resolving the dispute as soon as possible.

Due to a recent change in the law, it is not possible to use agency staff to cover for employees taking industrial action., However our contractors will seek support from other Veolia contracts to help deliver the services in Solihull.

We will have a dedicated webpage with information about the services disrupted due to the industrial action. There will also be regular updates through the council’s social media channels and collection email reminders.

We will not have enough staff to provide all services during the strike and therefore have to prioritise collections.

We know that a lot of households do not fill their rubbish bin every week and have space to cope for a week without a collection of rubbish. A lot of residents do this when we suspend services during the Christmas holiday period.

Also, many households now produce more recycling than rubbish which can be harder to store.

A lot of items that are put out as rubbish can be recycled. Please make full use of your recycling service to help provide space in your rubbish bin until your next scheduled collection. You can find out what you can recycle.

If you are struggling to manage your rubbish and you have access to a car you can book an appointment at Bickenhill Household Waste Recycling Centre (subject to availability of appointments and vehicle restrictions).

If you are considering using a private contractor to dispose of your waste, please ensure that you use a registered waste carrier.

You can check by:

  • asking to see a copy of their waste carrier registration certificate
  • asking where your waste is being taken
  • checking they are registered on GOV.UK
  • asking for the company’s registered trading address and company phone number
  • getting a receipt
  • making a note of the vehicle’s registration number

All waste should be disposed of by a registered carrier.

If you use a company that is not a registered carrier, you could be fined up to £5,000.

As we will have missed a week of rubbish collections, we will need to use the staff who normally collect garden waste to support the crews working on household rubbish collections (This is how we operate if we need to cancel rubbish collections during Christmas and New Year holidays).

While popular with a lot of residents, the garden waste service is used by fewer households and has the least impact on the majority of households if the service stops for two weeks.

You can home compost your garden waste

When you cut the grass during the spring and summer, you could also leave the clippings on the lawn. As they decompose, they release up to 30% of the lawn’s required nutrients. Remove the clippings from the lawn at the beginning and end of the growing season when decomposition is slow.

Shred hedge/shrub cuttings if possible. The woody stems of hedge make an excellent mulch for the garden.

If you are struggling to manage your garden waste and you have access to a car you can book an appointment at Bickenhill Household Waste Recycling Centre (subject to availability of appointments and vehicle restrictions). 

No, the black bin is currently for non-recyclable household waste and not garden waste.

We regret that we are unable to collect your garden waste during the strike but we will not be issuing any refunds for missed collections. This is in line with the terms and conditions of the service.

Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to catch up on collections. Please put your containers our for your next scheduled collection.

  • missed rubbish collection - we will take additional bagged rubbish on your next scheduled collection.
  • missed recycling collection - we will take additional recycling on your next scheduled collection.
  • missed garden waste collection - we cannot take additional garden waste so please put your bin out for your next scheduled collection.

We will attempt to collect any missed rubbish or recycling on Saturday 2 September.

If we do not return to collect, please return your containers and represent on your next scheduled collection. 

If we don’t remove rubbish from high-rise flats it can pose a potential fire risk. This is due to the use of chutes to transfer the waste from flats to the bin storage areas which can easily become blocked.

The bulky waste booking service will be available for booking appointments, but there will be no collections during the week of the strike.

Book a bulky waste collection

Yes, you can still book a sharps collection as this service is carried out by a different section of Veolia. Collections of sharps will continue as normal on your booked collection day.

Book a sharps collection

Yes, but the service may have limited capacity so deliveries may take longer than normal. Deliveries will resume as normal on 11 September.

If you are waiting for a replacement black bin you can present your household rubbish in black sacks.

Council tax is a statutory charge based on the occupation and/or ownership of property and is not dependent upon the supply or non-supply of a particular council service.

While we appreciate that disruption to your collections is an inconvenience, a refund of council tax payments is not applicable.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the strike action. Veolia is working hard to deliver a collection service to residents with limited crews and asks that people are patient during this time.

However, if you wish to make a complaint or comment you can do this online.