As Dorset Council’s waste services begin to feel the pressure from coronavirus (COVID-19) employee absence and the need to introduce new safety measures to protect its workforce, the council says it is asking residents to help by changing the way they deal with their bins, litter and recycling.
Lower priority services such as bin deliveries and garden waste collections have now either been suspended or are on the verge of being halted. Therefore, due to these reduced staffing levels, the authority is now implementing the next stage of its plan to keep essential collections going.
In a statement the council says:
- We will no longer return to empty any missed bins until your next regular collection day. If your bins are missed, please bring them back in. Store your waste safely and put it out on your next appropriate collection day
- We will pick up extra black bin rubbish only if your previous rubbish collection was missed. We will continue to pick up food waste weekly. You can also put out extra recycling provided it is separated correctly
- Do not try to report missed collections to us. Visit our service disruption pages online to check if you are in an affected area
- Remember to crush and flatten items (not glass) before throwing away, as this will help create space in your bins and our collection vehicles
- Please continue to observe public health guidance on handling your waste. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please double bag your waste and store for 72 hours before placing in your bin or blue sack. You should also wash your hands both before putting your bins out and after taking them back in
- We recommend rinsing dirty rubbish and recycling items before placing in bins to reduce unpleasant odours.
As we have had to redeploy employees to higher-priority services, our street-cleansing, household recycling centres and recycling banks in car parks have also been suspended. Therefore: –
- If you go out to exercise, take your litter home with you, especially dog waste. Street and dog bins are not being emptied on a regular basis. NEVER place household waste in a street litter bin
- Do not travel to a household recycling centre (HRC, or ‘the tip’) or any recycling bank in a car park as these are all now closed and are no longer being serviced. Any items left at these sites will not be cleared away and will be considered as fly-tipping.
Councillor Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said: ‘We appreciate that these new measures will cause inconvenience and frustration for some people, but these are unprecedented times and the changes are vital. We need everyone to show patience and understanding and work together so we can keep collections going for as long as possible.
‘Thank you to everyone supporting our front-line employees by following our guidance. We will monitor how things are going and take further action if we need to. In the meantime, please stay at home and keep an eye on our webpages, Facebook and Twitter accounts and local media for further updates.’