More than one in five (21%) of all waste and recycling issues raised by the public are taking more than a week for councils to resolve, according to a new survey.
The survey, commissioned by software company Yotta, polled the views of 1,000 UK adults, finding 8% of queries disappear down a “black hole”, never to be resolved.
“For many people, their waste or recycling collection is the only regular contact they have with the local council, yet it is the one aspect of the council’s work most likely to provoke criticism,” says Steve White, software business development manager, Yotta.
“The problem is that many councils still use cumbersome and error-prone paper processes so don’t have accurate or timely records.
“As a result, there’s a disconnect between the waste management crews operating out in the field; management teams working in the back office and the general public looking for quick answers to their queries and complaints.”
Overall, 35% of those polled say they have complained to a local authority about an issue relating to a waste or recycling collection, suggesting a high dissatisfaction rate, according to Yotta.
Positively, however, the survey also shows that over half (54%) of the public’s queries are being answered within 48 hours. Yet this still means that only under a quarter (24%) are answered on the same day.
The non-resolution figures are particularly high for some areas; for example 14% of issues in the North East are never properly addressed.
Mr White says new technology that can help councils address these issues is now coming on stream, enabling councils to deliver a more “proactive” service and respond more quickly to public complaints.