Green bin collections across Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire will not take place between Monday 23 March and Monday 4 May.
The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, a partnership between Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils, has made the decision in order to support staff and the recycling and waste service as a whole during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The suspension of green bin collections will allow crews to concentrate on emptying blue and black bins during the coming weeks. It will also assist with any future staff sickness or self-isolation issues.
As always, residents are being encouraged to waste as little food as possible, so they minimise the amount they need to throw away. For this period only, the advice to residents who do have food waste will be to put it into the black bin.
Residents who enjoy spending time in the garden and growing their own food are also being asked to consider home composting as much of their garden waste as possible.
Residents who are subscribed to the additional green bin collection scheme, and therefore pay for more than one green bin to be collected, will see a reduced fee for their permit upon renewal in the October.
The bulky waste collection service, which collects large items from residents’ homes, will also be suspended during this period.
Head of the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service, Trevor Nicoll, said: “Our priority is to try and maintain a regular waste collection service throughout the difficult months ahead and to do what we can to support the health and wellbeing of all our staff and residents.
"We’re making this change now to make sure we can focus on collecting blue and black bins as normal for as long as we possibly can. Our bin collection crews are trying their very best and deserve all the help we can give them. Suspending green bin collections will take some of this burden off them – they each walk the equivalent of a half marathon every shift.
"Residents can help by trying their very best to absolutely minimise the amount of food that they are throwing out and trying not to generate garden waste for now. Finally, it would also be a big help to our hardworking crews if residents whose bins don’t have much waste inside can wait until it is full before putting it out – if they think they can manage until their next collection.”
Double bag black bin waste if suffering symptoms
The Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service has also published advice on handling waste if your household is displaying symptoms of Coronavirus.
If you're experiencing the main symptoms - a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature - please be very careful when disposing of your personal waste (including used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths/wipes) at home. The advice for disposal of this waste is as follows:
- It should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full
- The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied
- It should be kept separate from other waste in suitable secure place on your property for 72 hours before being placed in the black bin as normal
The principle behind this method is that after 72 hours outside the body, the virus is no longer viable. This approach will help keep bin collection crews as safe as possible.
Other household rubbish and recycling should be treated as normal.
If you or anyone in your home is self-isolating or is confirmed as having Coronvirus, Cambridgeshire County Council are politely asking that you do not go to any of their Household Recycling Centres.
Residents who experience any waste-related difficulties during this period are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03450 450 063. Please note that it may take longer than usual to receive a response as the service adapts to different working practices.