Buckinghamshire Council will restart green waste collections across the county from 11 May and also stand ready to open five of its nine household waste sites as soon as the Government gives the green light nationally.
The moves to help residents across the county deal with their additional waste were announced at Cabinet today (30 April) by Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change.
Today's announcement follows the closedown of both areas at the start of the coronavirus outbreak due to government guidance, as well as staff shortages due to sickness and those needing to self-isolate. However Bill Chapple said things had improved sufficiently to reinstate the two services.
"Coronavirus has had a massive impact on all our waste services but waste teams from across the county have worked tremendously hard to prioritise collections and keep waste and recycling bin collections going. However, we're now fighting back and it's my intention to get services operating somewhere close to normality wherever I can, subject to current conditions continuing.
"Bringing back green waste collections will really help residents tend to their gardens during the lockdown. I know collection crews will be working hard particularly on the initial rounds, so could I ask residents to be considerate and avoid over-filling bins or putting additional garden waste out alongside."
Residents' normal garden bin collection days will stay the same but the Council advises checking their website first just to make sure nothing has changed. Collection times may however change, so residents are asked to put bins out by 6.30am. In addition, no subscribers will be out of pocket while green waste hasn't been collected as contract extensions or reduced priced renewals are being introduced. The Council will also be reinstating its bulky waste collection service across the county.
Bill continued, "To allow residents to dispose of other essential rubbish that might be harmful to store, we've also been working behind the scenes to prepare five of our most suitable household waste sites for reopening. These sites are at Amersham, Aston Clinton, Beaconsfield, Buckingham and High Heavens in High Wycombe and are best able to deal with queuing vehicles.
"We're now just waiting for the Government's final authorisation to open and this is expected within the next couple of weeks.
"That said, sites will look and operate differently to comply with strict social distancing requirements. We'll be adopting a 'supermarket style' of operation with strict controls on the number of people entering the site at any one time and marked off areas to maintain two metre gaps.
"As soon as we get the green light, we'll publish more detailed guidance on when these sites will reopen and how they will operate so residents can be absolutely clear on what they need to do.
"It's been a concerted effort from the whole waste team to find the best ways to reintroduce services given the extraordinary times we're in and I really hope it will provide some much-needed help for local residents going forward."
For more information, please visit www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk
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Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change.