Bin collections to continue ‘for as long as possible’
A large recruitment drive and staff redeployments have been made so that bin collections can continue “for as a long as possible” during the pandemic, Cheshire East Council has said.
This would allow Ansa, the authority's wholly owned company – which also collects bins in the Moorlands - to maintain sufficient members of staff to allow the collections to operate in a safe manner, explained Coun Laura Crane, the authority's Cabinet member with responsibility for waste.
She said: “It's through this and careful preparation that we have been able to continue with 'business as usual', despite having a percentage of staff from the collections team absent through self-isolation.”
However, collection times could vary during the day because of the new set-up, as Coun Crane explained: “Because we are using new staff and staff redeployed from other areas of the business, it is possible that collections will happen at different times on the scheduled day of collection.
“Please be patient and only register a missed bin on the following day. It would also help new and unfamiliar staff if residents, who may have a property that is difficult to find, place their bin as close to the highway as possible.”
Coun Crane added: “We need all residents to work with us during this very challenging period by wiping down bin lids and handles before they put them out for collection and after they have brought them back in.”
Residents have also been asked to store waste at home that cannot be taken to the local tip, all now closed as part of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Coun Crane said: “While extra time at home may create the urge to have a spring clean or do DIY jobs, please carefully store your items at home until the household waste recycling centres are re-opened.
“Following clear instructions from the Government and guidance from the police service, our household waste recycling centres have been closed and will remain closed until further notice.
“Because of this we ask residents to keep any bulky items at home for now. Do not put them in your bins as this will reduce capacity on collection wagons and will stretch our resources.”
She added: “Due to all residents being at home, there is a heavier strain than normal on the waste system. We are having to manage increasing amounts of waste and cannot take any additional side waste.”
She reminded people about the disposal of tissues at households where someone had a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19.
“Please place your used tissues and disposable cloths from cleaning surfaces in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. Such bags should be put in a suitable and secure place and stored for 72 hours before putting it out for collection.
“This is to minimise the risk to collection workers being in contact with any waste that may infect them or this waste being exposed to the atmosphere during the collections process.”
Coun Crane added: “Thank you for bearing with us during this challenging time and for all the encouragement you are giving to the crews who are out on the frontline every day of the week. They very much appreciate your kind words, thank you notes and applause.”