The Somerset Waste Partnership has announced that all the county’s recycling sites have been closed until further notice as a result of the coronavirus.
This follows the government advice on avoiding non-essential contact and travel, and the challenges of ensuring public and staff safety at the busy sites where physical distancing is difficult.
Bulky waste collections and garden waste collections have also been suspended.
But the weekly recycling collections and fortnightly household refuse collections will continue.
“Staff shortages mean that if recycling collections are missed,” said a spokesman for the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP). “We may lack the resources to make return pick-ups. If you are missed, do not leave containers out or report it; take everything in and re-present the following week.
“To help crews: rinse containers, squash all but glass and aerosols, flatten and tear up card, sort-segregate materials without using carrier bags, and put out by 7am. All food waste must go in the food waste bin.”
- While all garden waste collections are suspended, SWP is extending all subscriptions to take account of the disruption, however long it lasts in order that customers do not lose out financially. So, if disruption continues until the end of April 2020, the new annual subscriptions will last until the end of April 2021.
- While requests for bins, recycling boxes and food waste caddies are suspended, SWP teams will try to deliver those already ordered, but no new requests will be accepted.
- Customers who have booked bulky waste collections will be contacted about refunds.
- SWP’s campaigns Slim My Waste, Feed My Face will be paused so support staff are available for priority work.
The Government has provided guidance on how to dispose of personal waste, like tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, if you have coronavirus symptoms.
The guidance is for anyone with symptoms, including those diagnosed with the infection who must remain at home until they are well. It also applies to people in households with someone showing symptoms (a new, continuous cough and/or high temperature) that may be caused by coronavirus.
Personal waste should be stored securely in disposable rubbish bags. These should then be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within your home. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual rubbish outside your house, which will be collected as part of the usual fortnightly collections.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
For future updates from the Partnership go to https://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/coronavirus/