With recycling centres and dumps closed across the county for the majority of the lockdown, which began at the end of March, our frontline binmen were left with tonnes of extra work to do. A total of 673 tonnes extra, in fact, according to Council figures.
“During the lockdown period the refuse service experienced a significant increase in all material streams collected. With the refuse service being the only available option for disposal of household waste,” stated a report to the Council’s environmental services committee last week.
“Figures show an increase of over 673 tonnes across all waste streams for March and April when compared against a similar period last year. We expect a massive increase in the Household Waste Recycling Centre tonnages with an expected back log of materials being brought to the sites in the weeks ahead. Officers are currently working on figures and costings and once verified a detailed report will be brought to a future environmental services committee meeting.”
Meanwhile, the Council also confirmed it had slowed on the emptying of street bins and cleaning while our town centres were shut down, with bins on local main streets cut down to having bins emptied twice a week, subject to staff availability. The street sweeper rota was cancelled completely, and “only deployed on reactionary basis to complaints and incidents.”
However the Council did make efforts to empty dog foul bins more regularly, aiming for a three day rota.
With regard businesses, the Council has agreed to refund any local commercial premises that had already paid their trade waste charges earlier in the year for the months they were closed. Businesss that have yet to pay their charges will also have the lockdown period when they were not operating deducted from their bill. As lockdown measures continue to be eased in the coming weeks, the Council is keeping all its current measures under review.