HUNDREDS of households across Somerset where recycling collections have been missed this week will have to wait until the next scheduled pick up.

Somerset Waste Partnership is struggling to cover the normal rounds due to "a national driver shortage and other pressures".

A spokesperson said: "Collections of recycling, rubbish and garden waste have all suffered in recent days due to the shortage of HGV drivers and local agency staff, combined with continued heavy loads and traffic congestion hotspots.

"Rubbish and paid-for garden waste collections have been prioritised and huge efforts made to clear the backlog of recycling, including Saturday collections.

"Tuesday’s recycling collections in Sedgemoor have been rescheduled for this Saturday to free-up crews to tackle the problems."

But many recycling collections are still outstanding from Monday and Tuesday this week and the tail end of last week.

They will not now be collected until the next scheduled day.

The spokesperson added: "Affected residents' delayed collections will then be picked up first on that day, including carefully sorted extra materials in bags or boxes with official containers.

"Rubbish and garden waste are not affected, with return collections the next day or soon after."

Crews tackling a backlog of garden waste collections hope to be able to catch up by the end of Saturday.

The SWP spokesperson said: "Somerset Waste Partnership sincerely apologises for the disruption, caused by huge pressures on its waste collection contractor SUEZ.

"These pressures are mainly due to an ongoing nationwide shortage of HGV drivers, a situation made worse by Covid (which has meant a backlog of HGV driving tests) and Brexit, which has seen some drivers move back to EU countries.

"Locally there is also a more general shortage of agency staff, plus heavy holiday traffic and congestion and continued heavier than normal loads.

"To tackle the staff shortages, recruitment is underway for full-time permanent driver/loaders and loaders in Bridgwater, Evercreech, Taunton, Williton and Yeovil."

*In Sedgemoor only, recycling collections for Tuesday (June 8) will take place this Saturday (June 12), while all missed Sedgemoor recycling collections up to and including Monday (June 7) will take place on their next weekly day.

*Everywhere but Sedgemoor, all missed recycling collections up to and including Tuesday 8 June will take place on their next weekly day.

If you have been affected, apologies; please carefully sort extra recycling in bags or boxes alongside your official containers.