RESIDENTS in Somerset are being asked to put their rubbish and recycling out by 6am.

There have been missed collections across the county due to a national driver shortage and Covid-related heavier loads.

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has said if resident's put out their rubbish before 6am, or the night before, this will allow crews to start earlier if needed.

"Having scope for early starts gives us and our collections contractor SUEZ more options when planning how to keep on top of collections and deal with any special circumstances," said a spokesperson for SWP.

"The national driver shortage and Covid-related heavier loads have seen crews working long hours and occasional weekends for much of this year.

"Recent weeks have delays to collections in some areas and we apologise for this.

"Lots of work is being done to address the shortage, but there is no quick fix and some disruption of services is likely for some time.

"The well documented national LGV driver shortage has been worsened by Covid-19 which has delayed training and testing.

"EU drivers leaving the UK has added to the pressures, as has the driver demand created by recent reopening of non-essential retail.

"The recruitment of drivers and collection crews is especially difficult in Somerset because it is home to many distribution centres."

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