West Suffolk brown bin service return date to be announced next week
West Suffolk Council is to announce a date for the return of its brown bin service next week.
Leader John Griffiths said the authority was looking to resume the service, suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, 'as soon as possible'.
Barbergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are due to relaunch their garden waste collections from Monday, May 11.
Cllr Griffiths said: “We are actively looking to bring back our brown bin service as soon as possible and will be making an announcement next week on a date.
"Like others, we had to stop the brown bin collection due to a sudden reduction in staff available because of Covid-19 so that we could concentrate on priority services, such as black and blue bin collections and supporting vulnerable people and businesses.
"This has included a reduction of more than 40 staff after the stay at home announcement not being able to work as they were either vulnerable themselves or had to shield someone at home.
"When we bring back the service we also want to make sure it will be as robust and efficient as possible both to avoid future disruption due to staff reductions and to help manage further growth in the service with added environmental benefits such as reducing mileage and fuel use.
"To compensate customers the subscription year will of course be extended by the period of the suspension."
In Mid Suffolk and Babergh, garden waste collections will resume following its normal schedule from Monday, May 11 for those in 'area two' and Monday, May 18 for those in 'area one'.
Cllr Jessica Fleming, cabinet member for environment at Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “Re-starting our garden waste collections marks a milestone in our response to Covid-19 and it’s thanks to our crews that we’re now in a position to do so.
“If you do have additional bags that have built up, we ask that you empty these into your bin over several collections in the next few weeks to prevent unnecessary pressure on our crews.
“We’d also encourage our residents to tell their neighbours and friends from a safe distance or with a note through the door about changes to our services, and to try to spread the word through virtual means and community networks.”
Cllr Dan Pratt, Green Group Environment shadow, said: “We are delighted that the garden waste collection service is being restored.
"This was enabled by fact we have now sufficient numbers of crew members and their dedication to the service they provide.
"We would like to thank these key workers upon who we are incredibly reliant.
"The Green Group still encourage home composting for the many environmental benefits that it carries.
"We feel it is great that people have not resorted to fly-tipping as they have in other areas, despite waste and recycling centres being closed.
"Hopefully a method of operating these within distancing guidelines will soon be worked out."
Residents unsure of their usual collection day or area should check the calendars or collection day checker tool on the councils' website at www.midsuffolk.gov.uk/waste-services/collection-days/ with the message being 'if in doubt, put your bin out by 6:30am'.
More by this authorPaul Derrick