Waste service update

Released on March 25, 2020

Updated Thursday 2 April

Most waste collections are running normally. There is some disruption to our garden waste collections this week. Residents are asked to leave them out for 3 days and we will aim to get back and empty them. if this si not possible after three days please bring them back in and we will empty them next time it is scheduled.

  • We have had to suspend our kerbside collections for batteries, small electricals and textiles recycling service because the centres that would normally accept these items are currently unable to take them for processing. We ask people to keep these items until the service has resumed. Do not put them in the general rubbish or recycling bins because of the fire risk to bin trucks.
  • We must remind people that gatherings like community litter picks should no longer be taking place until the government guidelines allow, and until our waste contractos is able to cope with the extra waste collection.

The waste team’s well-tested service disruption plan is now in place.

Our waste contractor, Biffa, has suffered some staff shortages due to illness and self-isolation but is managing this by redeploying staff and using agency drivers.

However, with new crew members unfamiliar with the routes and in some cases fewer staff, it’s likely that on occasions, crews might not be able to complete all of their daily rounds and so some bins might not be emptied on their usual collection day. We empty 200,000 bins every week and so even a moderate level of disruption to our usual staffing can cause delays.

  • The advice for residents is as follows: if the bins in your street are not emptied, please leave them out for up to three days (including weekends) and we’ll try to catch up. If still not emptied, bring them back in and we will empty them on the next planned collection day.
  • We are working with Biffa to prioritise critical waste services. To help us with this plan we have suspended some non-essential services, including new bulky waste bookings, new garden waste subscriptions and investigating abandoned vehicles.  
  • We urge people to sort their waste carefully - food in food waste bins (you can put extra food waste in liners on top of your food waste bin), rubbish in black bins and clean, dry, loose recycling in their green recycling bins.
  • We’re also recommending residents wash their hands before and after taking the bins out to practice good hygiene for themselves and our bin crews.

We will prioritise food, rubbish and clinical waste collections and some elements of street cleansing, including emptying litter bins.

We may have to suspend garden waste services so we can focus on essential waste collections, as other councils have, if this is the case, we will let everyone know through our social media sites and council websites.