THE Council failed to collect bins from over 1,250 households in just a single day, the Impartial Reporter can reveal.

According to a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Council, on a specific date in April a bin route in the Enniskillen area was missed, leaving approximately 1,258 households without their brown waste caddies collected.

This was, according to the Council, due to “availability of operational staff”.

Recently, the Council was asked how brown bins had not been collected in the past month in the Enniskillen area; as well as a list of areas where bins were not collected; and the reasons why they were not collected.

The response, which took the form of an FOI, outlined that a figure for the number of 240-litre brown bins missed in the last month in Enniskillen was not held.

However, the Council did provide information on the impact of just one missed collection in Enniskillen, which detailed how over 1,200 households were impacted.

The Council added that while typical ‘set out ‘ rates for 240 litre bins varies on a seasonal basis, but is typically 70 to 80 per cent.

This means that, even at the lowest rate of ‘set out’, at least 880 bins were not lifted on that day. If a brown bin is missed, households must wait two weeks until the next available collection date.

Enniskillen resident, Jim Lucy (pictured above), was told by the Council to bring his brown bin to the Drummee Recyling Centre himself.

The FOI response follows a myriad of missed bin brown bin collections across the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area, with notifications on missed routes posted almost daily on the Council’s Facebook channels.

In May alone, notifications on missed collections were posted on a total of 15 days; almost half of the entire month.

As recently as yesterday (Wednesday) brown bins were missed in the Omagh area.

On Tuesday, bins were again missed in other areas of Omagh, while on Monday, routes in Lack and Dromore were impacted.

And on Thursday of last week, large swathes of rural roads were impacted.

This included the Letterbreen and Florencecourt area, where at least 16 roads were missed, and the Brookeborough, Tempo and Fivemiletown areas, where 20 roads were missed.

Other notable dates this month included Thursday, May 16, where routes were missed on at Shore Road, Churchill, rural roads in Derrygonnelly and Garrison rural roads, the Teemore/Derrylin border areas, and the rural roads at Tempo, Lisnaskea and Cooneen.

On the previous day, food waste caddies in the Bellanaleck, Arney and Derrylin areas were impacted, while on May 13, routes on Irvinestown, Ederney and Ballinamallard were impacted.

UUP Councillor, Mark Ovens, said missed bin collections are happening “far too regularly”, and he has called on the Council to “urgently address” the situation. “I’ve repeatedly raised the issue with senior management and the explanations given have long since been wearing thin,” Councillor Ovens said.

“It’s not the fault of any of teams on the ground at all. Rather, it’s a failure of the Council to effectively respond to a problem which has been becoming a source of major frustration.

“Key decisions over staffing, investment and even practical measures such as the provision of overtime when necessary all urgently need to be progressed.”

He said if the Council “can’t even reliably empty small waste bins then serious questions need to be asked and people held to account”.

“An effective waste management service is the very least that people should expect from their local council, especially at a time of excessive increases in household rates bills.”

This newspaper asked Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to comment, but had not received a response by the time of going to print.