COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - recycling and waste service update

Supporting the waste service to continue to collect waste 

Across the borough, recycling, waste and street cleaning services are taking place but with a reduced workforce and it is possible that there may be some disruption for the foreseeable future. We have been contacted by many residents asking if there's anything they can do to help. Here are some examples of what you can do:

Place your bins and containers on the pavement if you can

  • If you can, please place bins, boxes and caddies or sacks on the pavement on your collection day rather than inside the boundary of your property. This makes it much easier for the crews to collect with a smaller workforce, but we will still be collecting bins that are inside boundaries as usual. 
  • Please place bins on the pavement by 6.30am - collections may be earlier or later than usual on your collection day as crews may change their work patterns to try and minimise the impact on services. Do not worry if they are not collected at your usual time.
  • Please ensure that bins and containers are brought back onto your property on the same day.
  • Please ensure your bin does not block the pavement for pedestrians.

Only contact us for urgent issues

We are prioritising the most essential services and urgent requests at this time. If your request is not urgent, it would be better not to report it at the moment. This allows our contact centre staff, administrative team and our collection and street cleaning crews to focus on essential tasks. The table shows the best thing to do for common issues:

Please don't report:

  • Litter on streets (unless hazardous). 
  • Rubbish and recycling containers not returned properly by crews. 

Tell us online:


Email us at: [email protected]

  • Problems with crew behaviour

  • Request an assisted collection

  • Tell us about a new property that needs a waste collection

 

Waste less and recycle more

Try to minimise the amount of rubbish, recycling and food waste you produce.

  • It's more important than ever to try and reduce the amount of waste you create. This will take pressure off your collection crews during the pandemic and help protect the environment. Every bit you reduce will make a difference to maintaining a good service.

  • Check you know what can and can't be recycled - every bit you can reduce or recycle will make a real difference to maintaining a good service for everyone.

  • If you need extra capacity for your recycling you can put your plastics, glass, cans and cartons in plastic bags (please leave them untied), cardboard boxes or your own plastic boxes. Pop them next to your recycling box or bin on collection day.

  • Be particularly careful with perishable items like food: Don't buy more food than you need and remember to freeze it if you can't eat it before the use by date. Use up leftovers rather than throwing them away. For hints and tips, visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Bin hygiene

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds) before and after putting your bins/boxes out for collection. Wipe the handles of your bin and boxes down after you leave them at your usual collection point. This will help protect our essential collections workers.

  • To help us all stay safe, please tie your waste bags securely before putting them out for collection. If your household is self isolating, follow the specific guidance at the top of this page.

Manage your garden waste

If you are taking the opportunity to get out into the garden, please manage your garden waste as follows:

Please do not: 

  • Take your garden waste to the Villiers Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.
  • Put your garden waste in your general waste or recycling bins.

Please do:

  • Compost your garden waste at home - use a compost bin if you have one or create a make-shift compost heap (search 'how to make a compost heap' online for hints and tips)
  • Dedicate a corner of your garden for storing garden waste until we are able to re-open the Villiers Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.
  • Consider subscribing to the garden waste collection service for waste you cannot compost.

Considerate parking

With more of us staying at home during the day, the number of cars parked on residential streets has increased. Please help to make sure vehicles are parked safely and don't block access for our large collection vehicles. This is also important to ensure access is maintained for emergency services vehicles.

Food waste liners

Libraries are now closed so liners cannot be purchased directly from the Council. If you do not have enough you can purchase them alongside your food shop or you can instead use no liner or use newspaper to line your food waste caddy. Please continue to recycle your food waste - this helps other services to run smoothly. 

Hold off on big clear outs

If you decide to have a clear out or sort through items you no longer need, please hold on to items you intend to discard and store them somewhere out of the way. Please remember: 

  • The Household Reuse and Recycling Centre is open for essential visits only - pre-booking is essential. 
  • Charity shops are closed - any items left at the door of charity shops will be treated as fly tipping 

  • When making a bulky waste collection booking, you may find there is a longer wait than usual for an available date

  • Our collection crews will not be able to collect large volumes of additional waste from the kerbside. 

  • Please store items such as old clothes, toys, books, furniture, DIY waste and other bulky items in your home ready for when the Government's restrictions on non-essential travel are lifted and charity shops and recycling centres re-open.

We will collect recycling from any safe container

Please continue to recycle as much as possible. If you have more than usual, please flatten, compress and stack your items to maximise space. We will collect recycling from any safe container but please make sure that it is clear what is inside and continue to split recycling into the same categories as usual (i.e. paper and card together; glass, plastics, tins and cans together and food waste in a separate container).

Say thanks, but from a distance

There has been a huge outpouring of appreciation for our collection crews in recent weeks, which is great to see. But please remember not to approach the crews and stay at least two metres away, to protect their health and yours. A smile and wave from a distance is the ideal way to let them know they're appreciated.   

Take your litter home

Our street cleaning teams are operating with a reduced workforce. When out and about (taking your daily exercise of fulfilling essential tasks) please try not to use the street litter bins (especially to throw away personal protective items like gloves or masks). Take this litter home with you and dispose of it in your household bin.