Council to reduce waste collections and City Services functions as part of COVID-19 response

Further efforts to safeguard staff and residents

The council has been reviewing all services in order to safeguard both residents and staff as part of the ongoing effort to halt the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. We have taken the difficult decision to suspend kerbside glass and garden waste collection services from Tuesday 31 March.

The maintenance of public grounds, including grass cutting, trimming and pruning services will also be reduced in order to focus on Health and Safety priority work such as highway verges and keeping pathways and access routes clear. The bulky waste collection service has also been halted for the time being. Staff members from suspended services will be redeployed or re-focussed to help support other key service areas including those fighting the Coronavirus.

General waste and recycling collections for all households and flats will remain unchanged at the current time. We will continue to provide the recycling service provision but this will be reviewed regularly and as circumstances change.

Other services that currently remain unaffected include the Clinical Waste collection service and Commercial waste and recycling collections. Tree surveys and tree surgery will also continue to ensure trees are inspected and maintained for public safety. Street cleansing and pest control will also continue, but on a limited essential maintenance service basis.

Residents who are subscribed to the 2020 Garden Waste collection service will receive a renewal discount for the 2021 service that will reflect the duration of the disruption to this years’ service. In the meantime, please consider home composting as much of your garden waste as possible.

We’re asking residents to help stop the spread of the virus by disinfecting the handles of wheelie bins after they have put them out for collection. Wash your hands after you bring your bin back in and disinfect the handles again. Studies have shown that the coronavirus can remain on plastic for up to three days. Following the guidance will help to reduce onward transmission and also protect our Waste Collection operatives. Residents who have a plastic sack collection service are being asked to ensure they wash their hands before putting bag/s out.

Cabinet Member for Place and Transport, Councillor Jacqui Rayment said: “This has been a difficult decision to make as we need to keep the city running but have to prioritise the health and safety of residents and staff above everything else.

“We are also making these changes now, so that we can prioritise work and continue to provide key services in a safe and timely manner. These changes will allow us to deal with any staff absences due to sickness and self-isolation issues.

“Our priority is to try to maintain essential services throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead and to do what we can to support the health and wellbeing of residents and all of our staff who are working hard to keep delivering these core services.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.”