Monthly green bin waste collections will continue during June, South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has confirmed.
The council introduced a monthly collection of green bin waste across the district at the start of May, aiming to make one collection per household during the month, on either the first or second date on the householder’s collection calendar.
SLDC had suspended all green waste collections at the end of March in response to reduced staffing levels due to the Coronavirus outbreak and restrictions to ensure crews could work safely and comply with social distancing guidelines.
The guidelines mean only two crew members can travel in each vehicle at a time, when usually they travel in crews of three or four. This in turn has meant crews have been split and twice as many vehicles have been used to complete the priority grey bin and recycling collections. As a consequence fewer wagons had been available for the green rounds.
The council was able to partially reintroduce green collections from 4 May after taking measures to ensure collection crews could continue to work safely as staff numbers increased and additional vehicles were secured.
The council has continued to review its waste and recycling collections, but with no current changes in Government guidance on social distancing is continuing to have to ensure that only two crew members can travel in each vehicle.
This means more vehicles are still required to complete the rounds and it will not be possible at this stage to return to a full fortnightly green waste collection.
Councillor Eric Morrell, SLDC’s portfolio holder for Customer and Commercial Services explained: “We are currently putting every available vehicle on the road every day and we have even borrowed additional vehicles from another council to maintain our waste and recycling services and get the monthly green bin collection up and running.
“With so many people working from home and the recent fine weather we’ve seen recycling tonnages running at record levels – up by around 15-20% over the past couple of months.
“The only time we would usually see recycling tonnages like this would be the week after Christmas, we’ve never had this amount collected during April and May before.
“Our crews are pulling out all the stops to keep this vital service going and to get a green waste collection back up and running, but we won’t be able to get back to a fortnightly green collection until we can ensure this can be achieved safely and in line with social distancing guidelines.’’
The situation will continue to be reviewed on a weekly basis but the council says that from 1 June until further notice the current monthly green bin collection arrangements will remain for all South Lakeland residents.
Residents are therefore asked to follow these steps:
- Check your collection calendar and leave your green bin out on your next scheduled collection day in June
- Collection crews will begin emptying green bins on the round on the scheduled collection day
- If your bin has not been emptied by the end of the scheduled collection day please take your bin back in and present it again on the next scheduled green bin collection day according to your calendar, when the crews will return to continue the rest of the round
Councillor Morrell continued: “We’re keeping the situation under review and will get back to the usual fortnightly collections as soon as we can, but once again we would ask for a bit of patience and understanding at this time.’’
Householders are also asked to note that the crews will not empty bins that are too heavy for the lifting gear on the wagons and will not be taking any bagged green waste left at the side of the green bin. This is to ensure that the wagons don’t fill up with extra side waste, so there’s enough capacity to be able to offer everyone a collection in the next few weeks.
Any bagged waste will be left and the householder should put it in the emptied bin for the next collection.