Bexley’s crews will be focusing on collecting recycling rather than food waste from Monday, as the Serco strike continues.

A total of 140 bin workers walked out on contractor Serco last month, following disputes over pay and victimisation, causing rubbish to pile up across the borough.

With the strike expected to continue until at least August 22, Bexley Council’s remaining skeleton crew is shifting focus to non-food recycling for the time being.

A spokesperson said: “In response to requests from local residents, Bexley's recycling crews will be focusing on collecting white lidded bins rather than food recycling bins from Monday, August 16.

News Shopper: The strike began on July 12The strike began on July 12

“They will continue to collect residents' green lidded bins every fortnight.

“Collections will take place from Monday to Friday, but not to the usual schedule.

“Services will vary depending on the staff available and it will take some time to collect from every “home in the borough.

“Please leave your white lidded bin out, but not your food waste bin, until further notice.

“You can put your food waste in your green bin while services are disrupted.”

White lidded bins are for recycling plastic packaging, glass, cans and cartons.

Earlier this week, council leader Cllr Teresa O'Neill OBE said talks were supposedly progressing between the two sides, with Unite balloting their members on a return to work.

On Thursday, Unite, the union representing aggrieved employees, announced the strike had been extended to Sunday, August 22.

Bexley Council says the majority of Serco staff are not on strike and remaining staff are working extra hours to maintain services.

Unite claims that around 50 staff are owed substantial back pay as Serco has failed to pay according to stipulated pay scales.

They allege this has resulted in existing drivers being paid just £22,000 a year, while new recruits are paid £28,000 for the same roles.

They further claim Serco has weaponised its drug and alcohol testing policy in order to victimise union members, while failing to provide advice or support to workers who are experiencing substance misuse problems.

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon, said, “Residents in Bexley need to brace ­themselves for further bin strikes throughout August.

“While this will cause ­further disruption, this is entirely a result of Serco ­failing to resolve ­widespread pay issues and the ­mistreatment of its workers.

“Bexley council says it is desperate for the dispute to be resolved, but if it is serious then it needs to stop hand wringing and force its ­contractor into line.

“Bexley outsourced this contract to Serco and it can’t now pretend that this dispute isn’t of its own making.

“Until action is taken on the grossly unfair pay disparities and action is taken to stop Serco managers victimising workers through its drug testing policies, strikes will continue.”

Have you got a story for us? You can contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletters to get updates sent straight to your inbox.