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Recieved this email from Jeremy Shields, Birmingham City Council’s Environmental Operations Manager, regarding stolen recycling bins. Obviously there is alot I have to comment on, so that will come in the next day or so after I’ve written up the article for Birmingham Recycled, but in the meantime have a read and tell me what you think:

I am not personally aware of any evidence of recycling boxes being stolen
in the legally-defined sense. It is accepted that boxes go missing, usually
for reasons unknown, and that people can ask for replacements.
A few weeks ago, during and after the extreme weather, there was a spike in
telephone calls to the Contact Centre, caused by people calling about
delays in services. This continued for some time, because several thousand
extra collections of unwanted items were also delayed, and this backlog
took some time to clear. This situation unforseeably occurred at a time
when new software was being used by Call Agents, which produced problems
with unfamiliarity. The combined effect was that people had, regrettably,
problems with making contact by telephone, and I apologise for these
When Call Agents receive a call requesting that they arrange replacement
recycling boxes, they would normally note the details, and pass these on
for action to be implemanted, usually quite quickly. Only one department is
involved, and I am surprised that anyone could form any other opinion.
The impact of the issues I have mentioned has diminished, and will continue
to do so, with the situation therefore improving progressively.
Additionally, the  online option seems to be increasing in use, which helps
to move matters forward
I trust that the foregoing is of assistance. Should you require any further
help or information, please contact me.

Jeremy Shields

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