Council postpones garden waste collections for a month over coronavirus concerns

PUBLISHED: 16:48 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:19 26 March 2020

The council is changing its garden waste collection policy in light of coronavirus. PHOTO: Archant

The council is changing its garden waste collection policy in light of coronavirus. PHOTO: Archant

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A council is bringing garden waste collections to a halt to direct resources into “more important services”.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is postponing brown bin waste collections for four weeks from Monday, March 30.

This is so they can prioritise the collection of general and household waste, which is building up as people commit to lockdown.

In a statement, the council said: “Garden waste materials remain non-hazardous if left for longer than two weeks and can also be home-composted if residents prefer.

“Since garden waste collection is an opt-in paid-for scheme, customers will have their subscriptions extended by a month to account for the loss of the two fortnightly collections.”

Recycling centres are closing across Norfolk. Picture: Ian BurtRecycling centres are closing across Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

The council have stressed that kerbside collection of general rubbish bins and green recycling bins will be uninterrupted - and residents are asked to put out their bins as they normally would.

However, they said it was important for people to remember that household recycling centres across Norfolk have been temporarily closed, and garden waste should not be taken there as an alternative.

A council spokesperson added that the situation with brown bin collections would be reviewed after four weeks.

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Penny Carpenter, chairman of the environment committee, said: “During this challenging time for everyone, it is important we resource our most important services.

“Due to the developing situation and latest national advice regarding Covid-19, waste collection services are currently operating with a reduced number of staff.

“By postponing the garden waste collections, we are able to use these vehicles, drivers and loaders to support general rubbish, recycling and clinical collections, which must be prioritised.

“This decision was made jointly with our operational partner, GYB Services Ltd.

Penny Carpenter, head of Great Yarmouth's Environment Committee. Pic: Norfolk Conservatves.Penny Carpenter, head of Great Yarmouth's Environment Committee. Pic: Norfolk Conservatves.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and we thank you for your continued understanding and patience in these exceptional circumstances.”

Tough decisions made by councils come as the county has seen a rapid reduction in the provision of public services - from recycling centres and gyms to public toilets and carparks.

This is in line with strict social distancing guidance announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the beginning of this week.

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