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COVID-19: Disruption to garden waste collections

10:52 am, Thursday, 12th November 2020 - 3 weeks ago

Bins, waste and recycling

North East Lincolnshire Council is changing the way it collects garden waste due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Garden waste subscribers will have one collection instead of two before the winter break.

The service breaks for the winter in December and January. At this time of year, half of our customers on average have stopped using the service for the season and do not put out their bins, so we are expecting impact to be limited.

Advice to garden waste subscribers:

  • Check your collection date at www.nelincs.gov.uk/refuse-collection-schedule/
  • Please do not call us to report a missed collection. Put your bin out on your next scheduled collection date.
  • The Council will send an email or text to all garden waste customers where they have provided their details.
  • You can take garden waste to the Community Recycling Centres (CRC or tip) in Grimsby or Immingham. Both sites are open as usual.
  • Please let neighbours know about the changes.
  • Our call centre is busy dealing with calls relating to the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable people. Please do not call about garden waste collections.

Why we’re taking this action now

Waste crews are grateful for all the support households have given them since the coronavirus pandemic started.

They collected 3,000 more tonnes of household waste, recycling and garden waste between March and September this year, than they did last year.

With more people staying at home for the second national lockdown, the crews are again expecting to see significant increases in the amount of waste and recycling.

Reducing garden waste collections means more staff are available for household waste and recycling rounds and to keep the tips open.

Both tips are open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm but have some restrictions in place.

Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for transport and environment at the Council, said:

“With rapid increases in local cases, we need to prioritise the areas under most pressure, which at this time is domestic waste and recycling collections.

“Garden waste is a paid for service and I’m sorry to customers who are affected by the change.

“We can’t offer a refund, but subscribers may leave an extra bin bag of garden waste with their brown bin on their next collection.

“Like most organisations, we must adapt at short notice to keep services running during this uncertain time.

“We will post information about disruption to our services on the Council website, at www.nelincs.gov.uk/coronavirus.

“There was little disruption to waste and recycling collections during the first national lockdown but because of the rise in local cases this time we need to take action.”

Tips on how you can help

  • Check www.nelincs.gov.uk/coronavirus regularly for updates on any changes to waste and recycling collections.
  • Plan ahead. Think about how you are going to dispose of your waste and recycling if services are disrupted.
  • Please make sure that all domestic waste is put in sealed bags first and that your green bin lid is firmly closed. Don’t leave extra bags of rubbish with your bin.
  • Please put the correct bins out before 7am on your collection day
  • Take your bin back to your property after the bin crew has been
  • Take any extra rubbish to the Community Recycling Centres (CRC or the tip) in Grimsby or Immingham, open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm.
  • We will collect all recycling that has been presented correctly in the recycling bins with the lids closed
  • We won’t empty recycling bins if you put the wrong items in them and we won’t take extra rubbish left with your bins
  • All household rubbish that can’t be recycled needs to go in your green wheelie bin with the lid closed
  • Most people manage their household waste well, but if you have too much rubbish for your green wheelie bin, check you’re recycling as much as you can.

Putting out your bins

When putting out your waste and recycling bins, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are doing this as safely as possible:

  • Keep your distance when our workers are collecting your waste and recycling.
  • Disinfect your bin or box handles, before and after collection.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your bins or boxes.
  • Put wipes, cloths, gloves, etc. used for cleaning your bags, bins, boxes and caddies into your green bin, as these can’t be recycled.

If you are self-isolating or have symptoms, or live with someone who does, there is guidance on disposing of tissues, cloths and other items. For details, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection.

  • Cleaning cloths and personal waste such as used tissues and disposable face coverings should be stored in disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Do not put them in your recycling bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Staff safety measures

Waste crews are key workers and changed the way they work during the early stages of the pandemic. A series of safety measures were put in place to limit the spread of the virus. Safety measures include:

  • Daily health checks
  • Keeping different crews apart from each other throughout the day
  • Extra cleaning of surfaces that staff regularly touch
  • Disinfecting vehicle cabs
  • Strict limits on the number of staff in depot buildings
  • Extra gloves have been provided
  • Changes to the way staff arrive and leave the depot and how information is handed out.

North East Lincolnshire Council continually reviews the risk assessments and precautions as the situation unfolds and will implement any further advice provided by Public Health officials.

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