MORE than 2,000 bin collections were missed across Bracknell Forest in the year up to March 2020.

This was a 166 per cent increase from the number of missed collections recorded by the end of March 2016.

(The numbers recorded for 2014/15 showed 480 missed collections, but BFC says this figure is an anomaly, with performance "substantially underreporting the position. The true underlying baseline position is around 780 reports."

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Kevin Gibbs, a director at Bracknell Forest Council (BFC), explained why missed pickups shot up last year.

He said: “Bracknell Forest is a rapidly growing borough, as the number of new properties increases, the number of missed bins will also increase as waste services are established.

“Last year saw a spike in missed bin reports due to the changes in collection rounds for all properties in the borough during the summer.

“Collection crews and customers had to learn new routes and new collection days, resulting in a peak of missed collections.

“However, crews are now settled into their new rounds and missed bin reports are back to normal levels.”

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The News’s investigation found across the last five financial years more than 6,000 pickups were missed.

Binmen miss around 1,100 bins on average every year, according to the data.

Around 780 bins were not collected in 2014/2015, 761 the following year, 797 a year later and 830 in 2017/2018.

The missed pickups rose again to 911 in 2018/2019, with last year’s figure more than doubling to 2,027.

SUEZ collects Bracknell Forest’s bins on behalf of the council at a cost of more than £2.2 million per year — around £43,000 per week.

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BFC said it did not record how many extra lorries were sent out to pick up bins missed during routine collections over the last five years.

There is no additional cost to the council resulting from the missed bin collections.

Mr Gibbs added: “The council has a strong contract monitoring team, who work closely with our contractor to ensure that customer feedback improves the services and any failures are resolved quickly.

“We have also invested in a new fleet of vehicles, increasing the reliability of the collection service, while reducing our carbon footprint.”