Derby City Council has announced that it will be suspending its garden and food waste collections in light of the coronavirus outbreak, with general waste and dry recycling collections expected to be disrupted in the ‘coming weeks and months’.
In a statement released online yesterday (18 March), the council said that in light of stricter measures implemented by the government in an effort to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the decision had been taken to prioritise the general waste and recycling collection services across the city over the collections of brown garden waste and food bins.
The statement added: ‘We know that changes to refuse collections are frustrating at any time but we have to prioritise our services in what is an unprecedented situation. We’d like to thank citizens for their support and understanding.’
The council stated that it expected the workforce on its Streetpride waste collection service to be impacted in the coming weeks and it would share regular updates on the fast-moving situation.
It added: ‘We’re working to minimise disruption to our services, and will continue to work hard to collect recycling, and general waste, however we do anticipate an impact on these in the coming weeks and months.’
Many streets in Derby saw their blue bin recycling collections missed yesterday, and Derby City Council advised residents to store extra recycling at home until it is able to be collected, requesting that residents only use their black general waste bin for items that can’t be recycled.
For those self-isolating due to having contracted Covid-19 or suspecting that they have contracted it, the council relayed the government advice that all personal waste, such as tissues, should be double-bagged and kept separate from other waste for 72 hours, before being placed in the black bin.
The situation in Derby is likely to be replicated by other local authorities over the coming weeks as waste services deal with mass illness amongst their collection staff, according to Lee Marshall, CEO of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC).
Though waste services already have well-prepared contingency plans, Marshall predicted a reduced frequency in general waste collections and limited opening hours for Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) as the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak widens.
You can read the government’s latest guidance for households self-isolating on its dedicated coronavirus advice page.