Panic buying at petrol pumps forces North Norfolk District Council to suspend bin collections

Bin collections have been suspended across north Norfolk as petrol panic buying has left a waste collection firm unable to get 'consistent supplies'.

North Norfolk District Council has taken the drastic step of suspending the collection of garden bins with immediate effect, as contractor Kier is struggling to find fuel for its vehicles.

The authority said panic buying had caused a number of local garages used by Kier to run out of fuel, and have now asked residents with brown bins not to put them out until further notice.

The suspension of brown bin rounds will be in force for two weeks, but the council has said regular waste and recycling collections will continue as normal.

John Lee, deputy leader and cabinet member for environmental services, apologised to those affected.

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He said: 'We are very sorry that we have had to take this decision as we know it will inconvenience some people. However, we believe that it is better to take controlled steps now, involving garden waste collections only, rather than have to interfere with the regular waste and recycling collections – these will continue to take place as usual.'

The authority is hoping the fuel situation will return to normal by April 13, and said it will review the situation will Kier immediately after the Easter break.

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Mr Lee added: 'We recognise that as things stand this will be a short-term problem and that, so long as tanker deliveries remain unaffected by any drivers' strike, panic buying will soon cease and everything will return to normal.

'We will review the situation with our waste contractors Kier immediately after the Easter break. If a tanker drivers' strike is called, then we will need to put contingency plans in place.'

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